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ActionAid and Kuntaur Area Council sign partnership agreements

 

ActionAid International The Gambia and Kuntaur Area Council on Wednesday 10 February signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work together in the Central River Region. The MOU provides a framework that strengthens and guides their cooperation and clarifies each others’ roles and responsibilities in support of national development priorities. These will be in the areas of capacity development, advocacy and support for citizen’s participation in local governance, constitutional civic matters and national policies with particular focus on decentralisation and devolution programmes, climate resilience and sustainable agriculture, education, women & youth empowerment; empowerment of physically-challenged among others.

 

 

In another development, a contract agreement to facilitate the production of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials as part of the British Embassy supported project: "Promoting Citizens’ Participation in Local Governance Decentralisation in Kuntaur Area Council" was also signed. The main objectives of the project are to promote awareness on decentralisation and devolution in local governance and to promote transparency and accountability in public finance and resource management and social service delivery.

 

The signing ceremony took place at ActionAid’s head office in Kanifing. The Chairman of the Council, Mamat Mbye, signed on behalf of Kuntaur Area Council whilst the Executive Director of ActionAid, Omar Badji, signed on behalf of his organisation. In a brief speech afterwards, the Council’s Chairperson Mr. Mbaye noted that the partnership between ActionAid and Kuntaur Area Council goes a long way and should not just be limited to the project. ‘Although Kuntaur Area Council is the poorest, we are the first to have a strategic plan and this partnership with ActionAid will be of immense benefit to us’, he said. Mbaye commended ActionAid for ‘setting the base’ as it is the first organisation to support them in their development agenda. This, he noted has resulted in other organisations emulating their example.

ActionAid’s Executive Director expressed confidence in the ability of Kuntaur Area Council to implement the project because of its strategic direction and vision. He stated that, ‘Without a strategic direction, resources invested in Council’s development efforts will be wasted. We are happy that the investments made so far are yielding results’. Badji also urged Kuntaur Area Council to create the space for citizens to participate effectively for the successful implementation of the project. 

 

The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Council’s Director of Planning and Development Mr. Omar Ceesay, ActionAid’s Head of Programmes and Policy, Almamo Barrow, and the Programme Specialist for Governance, Saikou Kawsu Gassama. The British Embassy funded project aims to strengthen the capacity of the Local Government Authority to promote active community participation in local council development in Kuntaur Area Council coordinated by ActionAid.

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