By Ousainou J Sawaneh (PrinCE OjeE)
Activista The Gambia in partnership with Action-Aid International The Gambia recently held a day-long stakeholders engagement on peace building in elections and electoral processes ahead of the National Assembly Elections.
This activity is part of the series of activities conducted by Activista in partnership with Action-Aid International The Gambia through funding from WANEP Africa / EU.
The forum was held at the action-aid international office in Kanifing
This session is geared towards building an inclusive mechanism to promote peace and tolerance through awareness creation and dialogues. This they believe stakeholders will reflect on conflict indicators and device a holistic approach to minimize conflict at the pre, during, and post-election period.
The Project under implementation is focused on promoting peace and tolerance in our polity through awareness creation, training, and dialogues with various stakeholders to build a culture of democracy and active citizenry in the electoral process.
Over the weekend, a series of activities were held in the regions including the municipalities: Training of police officers, Sensitization of local authorities and opinion leaders, Regional dialogues, and key among the project activities is the national dialogue which targets Government and Non- Governmental Institutions and Organizations,
The theme of the dialogue focuses on the “ role of stakeholders in strengthening peace and tolerance in the election”.
speaking at the dialogue, Omar Danso, national coordinator of Activista the Gambia, said they feel that this dialogue is important because every individual is a stakeholder to make sure that they can maintain peace at all times.
“There are series of activities that took place in the past week, one we looking at stakeholders differently in making sure that they are addressing them at the same time, but at the end of the day this convergence was supposed to bring all those stakeholders in a simple platform that is why we were able to train the police officers at regional level in all the regions.” He explained
He noted that they can engage local authorities and opinion leaders within communities and this person includes governors, chiefs, alkalosis, women councilors, and youth councilors, and the reason why they engage this stakeholder is that they understood that it is not individual stuff to address or to have a single solution.
He said when you talk about politics in the Gambia, people see it as a medium to castigate others or to personally attack individuals when politics was supposed to be a noble field where decent individuals can field that I can be part of politics and I am going to sell my agenda, my policies, and programs that will make a difference this in the country and that is why they want to bring everyone on board.
Baboucarr Nyang, finance officer of Activista the Gambia, said today they are here to talk about the role of stakeholders in strengthening peace and tolerance in elections.
“activists have 315 police officers nationwide 7 administrative regions of the country, and then 45 police officers were trained in each of the regions on professionalism and also on police civil relationship, the police civil relationship is how will the police handle issues of conflict, how will the police handle thing from the civilians to ensure that they have a very good relationship between the civilians and the police at training was also done under this project”.
He also thanked their partners and funders of the program.
Mam Kumba Ndow Ceesay, project manager of the global fund at Action-Aid International the Gambia, said they are here to talk about peace during the elections but before and after the elections are equally important and because peace is not achieved by one person one organization or one entity.
“We are here as different professionals in our defined roles to work collectively together to achieve that peace”.
she mentioned that an election is a process an important one that defines democracy and when people talk about democracy in an election.
“I think everyone in the room here has a duty in terms of that election monitoring, peace building during elections process.” She added