Search This Blog

Monday, April 16, 2012

President Jammeh Cautions NGOs

The Gambia’s president Yahya Jammeh has cautioned NGOs in the country to distance themselves from anti-government activities, warning that his government will not tolerate any such activity.
Jammeh made this remark on Saturday 11 February, in a statement read on his behalf by Gambia’s health minister Fatim Badjie, at the maiden NGO Week.
Organised by The Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (TANGO), the umbrella body of NGOs in the country, the week-long event seeks to showcase the achievement registered by NGOs as well to highlight challenges. 
“NGOs are complements to government in efforts to achieve its development agenda, but is rather unfortunate that some organisations including CBOs and NGOs often take advantage of this by abusing the conducive environment created, by engaging in dubious activities that are inimical to NGO policy and laws of The Gambia,” he said.
President Jammeh has observed further that NGOs have also become contentious in many other countries where they are perceived as either anti-government or seek to serve the interest of foreign entities.
He added: “We also notice that in many countries including The Gambia, certain individuals engage in development work, not for the benefit of the people but for their own self aggrandizement.
“Thus these individuals have been very good at manipulating the law to set phony organisation with the intention of enriching themselves at the expense of donors and communities.”
The Gambian leader however, assured NGOs of his government’s commitment to cultivate and nurture an environment of peace and stability backed by appropriate legal framework and policy environment to enable NGOs do their work effectively in all parts of the country.
As he put it: “My government recognises that ultimately the development of The Gambia rest with the government, but no one government can single-handedly carry the development of a nation on its shoulder alone.

“My government is willing to work in partnership with NGOs for the development of this country. We are aware of the fact that in many cases, NGOs have reached out to individuals and communities, often remote, who really need their help.

NGO Decree

After coming to power through a coup in 1994, Jammeh’s administration created Decree 81, which governs NGOs’ operations and later established the NGO affairs agency as the executing arm of this law. At the forum, he unveiled that his government has begun a process of transforming Decree 81 into an act of National Assembly.
Now that the NGO affairs agency has been placed under the office of the president, he promised that concerns of NGOs will be given attention it deserves.
“We are aware of the development challenges we face and want to urge all NGOs to continue to work with the government and communities to bring about quality development to the people,” President Jammeh said.

Author: Abdoulie Nget

No comments:

Post a Comment