By: Kebba AF Touray
Foday Kanyi, representative of Actionaid International the Gambia, has called on Gambian youth to reject hate speech in the country, especially at this critical time when the country is gearing up for the December presidential election.
Kanyi made this call at a town hall meeting over the weekend organized by Activista in collaboration with Actionaid International the Gambia and with support from the European Union.
The meeting brought together officials from Kanifing Municipal Council, Banjul City Council, the media and the youth folk, to exchange ideas on the participation of youth and women in politics.
“I enjoin [the] youth to reject hate speech and enhance peace and unity. We jointly (Activista and Actionaid) embarked on an advocacy campaign targeting policy makers to ensuring that the government is transparent, accountable and keep their promises of ensuring the rule of law and respect for human rights among others,” he said.
Kanyi said the meeting was timely and focuses on opportunities and challenges for youth and women participation in various processes in the country, saying it will greatly enhance youth and women critical participation in important processes, such as peace building ahead of the December election both at national and local levels.
Kanyi, while hailing Activista for the foresight, expressed hope that the outcomes of the meeting will greatly help in enhancing active and meaningful youth and women participation in national development processes.
“This forum will continue to be the overall focus of the youth policy 2019 to 2028, which is to empower the youth with skills and knowledge to enhance their commitment in taking this country forward,” he said.
Muhammed S Bah, board member of Activista, said the town hall meeting provided an avenue for them to bring together elected representatives with their electorate to share ideas and expertise so that the citizens will comprehend their fundamental human rights and desists from hate speech.
“The constitution in section 1 subsection 2 states that sovereignty resides in the people from whom all organs of government should derive their authority. This is very important and this clearly means that the powers belong to the people,” he said.
Dr. Saihou Gassama, who launched Activista’s Civil Education manual, said the manual aims to increase and widen the understanding of the citizenry on their fundamental human rights, responsibilities and build their capacity to be able to defend their rights, ensure that their rights are not violated and for them to actively take part in decision making processes.
He said the manual also detailed critical issues as fundamental human rights, social and economic rights of the people, citizenship, governance, the constitution of the Gambia and administration at the local level.
“This manual was developed through a consultative process and is critical in the national development crusade, but the issues can only be meaningful if they are fully comprehended and effectively utilized and implemented,” he said.