By Abdoulie Nget
The Association of Non- Governmental Organisations (TANGO) in partnership with the Non-State Actors Strengthening Program (NSASP) on Wednesday launched a D2.7 million project that seeks to engage duty bearers in the promotion of human rights and good governance.
Funded under EDF’s NSASP, the one- year project aims to raise the awareness of public agencies and development organizations on their obligations in ensuring development, through rights-based approaches.
Speaking at the launching ceremony held at the TANGO conference hall, the program coordinator of NSASP, Mrs. Luseli Bull underscored the importance of the need for public agencies and development organisations to strengthen their efforts in serving the people.
She noted that the people have the right to development as it is said: “Development is a human right.’
Right-based approaches, Bull believes, will help government agencies, and development organizations to promote their work in addressing the needs of the people in a manner that they can recognize their right to development.
“The project should have been three years as proposed earlier, but it is now reduced to a one-year project and during this period, we should try to achieve our objective,” she said.
She stated that TANGO has a role, urging the project partners to strive for the effective development in The Gambia in promoting the rights of the people.
Mr. Ousman Yabo, the Director General of TANGO, delivering the launching statement, pointed out that 2.7 million dalasi is not a small grant, thus imploring on all stakeholders do their best to achieve the aim of the project, which is to see positive impact on the services of duties bearers within a period of twelve months.
“The project will be engaging community leaders and local government officials. It will also create awareness for the security forces as well as offer training for the civil society and the media to facilitate the dissemination of information,” Yabo added.
He urged all development organisations and NGOs involved in the project to be visible and transparent in all their activities.
Deputising for the Director of the NGO Affairs Agency in The Gambia, Mr. George Nyouki said that a human right framework is essential for poverty reduction because it seeks to address the multiple rights denials that cause and shape poverty.
According to George, the NGO Affairs Agency supports the worthwhile project which recognises the rights of people in national development, adding that taking into cognizance the role of the common people especially the underprivileged in development agenda is indeed a move in the right direction.
“The government of The Gambia will support all necessary efforts geared towards the realization of the government blueprint as well as the Millennium Development Goals,” he said.
He however said that rights go with responsibilities, as long as rights are demanded, it requires responsibility, saying: “where one’s right ends is where another’s right begins”.
The ceremony was chaired by Mr. Madi Jobarteh, the program manager of TANGO who emphasised the need for people to be empowered to hold duty bearers accountable.
He said engaging duty bearers through right-based approaches will promote development in the service delivery to the people.