By Ndey Sowe
In the quest to empower Gambian Parliamentarians on the National Security Sector Reform process (SSR), the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance (DCAF) on Friday December 13th 2019, handed over a tool kit for the SSR process to Gambia’s National Assembly Members (NAMs).
The DCAF developed tool kit for SSR and governance in West Africa, is an eight-part publication aimed at supporting the implementation of the regional normative framework for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The handing over which is geared towards engaging parliamentarians to interact with experts in parliamentary work and effectiveness in a democratic environment; witnessed the attendance of the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly who also doubles as Chairperson of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defense and Security (SCDS), the ECOWAS and EU Ambassadors, DCAF Officials as well as other NAMs respectively.
Momodou L.K. Sanneh, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly said the committee system of the present National Assembly is operational compared to previous parliaments where most of the committees were dormant.
He urged members to participate actively during the discussions and hope that lessons learnt from the session will further enhance the skills of his colleague Members of the Assembly.
Pansaw Nyassi, the Interim Country Head of DCAF Banjul office said the tool kit has been developed as a resource for ECOWAS and all national stakeholders within ECOWAS member states including the executive, parliament, judiciary and statutory oversight institutions and civil society organisations.
“It can be useful to other actors involved in the West African Security Sector Reform (SSR) processes such as international partners,” he said.
Attila Lajos, EU Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU), said it is time for visible reforms that are genuinely participatory and felt by the Gambian people.
“Our commitment must be measured by more than just the Euros and Dalasi we spend,” he said; that the true sign of success is not whether we are a source of aid that helps people; that it is whether we are partners in building the capacity for transformational change.
Vabah K Gayflor, ECOWAS Ambassador said the Gambia has been known to be a peaceful country; that the country has endured 22 years of authoritarian rule and was on the brink of being plunged into a situation of total collapse; that the target of SSR process usually tasked the arms of Government to uphold national security and is responsible for the management, provision and oversight of security in the country.
The event which was held at a local hotel in Kololi, was funded by the European Union (EU).