The Association of Non-Government Organisation TANGO through funding from ForumCiv, conducted a two-day sensitization training workshop on Persons with Disability Act and Access to information Act 2021.
The training was conducted on Wednesday 16thand 17th August 2023 at TANGO Conference Hall in Fajara.
Speaking at the event, Yadicon Njie Eribo, Chairperson of TANGO said the purpose of the training on the Disability Act and Access to Information Act 2021 is to increase awareness and educate the duty-bearers and the rights holders about the essential provisions within the Act, which is designed to promote transparency, accountability and citizen empowerment especially of persons that are differently abled.
“We have seen since the passing of this Act into law, the level of awareness and implementation leaves a lot to be desired. This in effect continues to hinder the advancement of the right of every members of our society who are persons that are differently abled,” she said.
According to her, Access to Information Act serves is the pillar of transparency, accountability and good governance, which embodies the fundamental rights of individuals to access information held by public authorities. She added that the Act is not just legal framework; it is a powerful tool that enables citizens to exercise their rights and participate actively in the decision-making process that shape lives and provide individuals with information about police plans and project to ensure that voices are heard and considered.
Mrs. NdeySireng Bakurin, the Executive Director of TANGO, said access to information Act is not just a legal instrument, it represents a pivotal tool in empowering individuals, promoting transparency and fostering democracy within society.
“ This Act strengthens the fight against corruption. By providing a legal framework for requesting and obtaining information, it becomes more difficult for corrupt practices to be concealed. This Act serves as a shield against any attempt to hide malpractices, enhancing our ability to expose and eradicate corruption at all levels,” she added.
Principal Magistrate in Banjul and the President of Gambia Federation of Persons with Disabilities, Muhammed Kurbally, who spoke on the Disability Act 2021, said disability” means the result of an interaction between a person with an impairment and the environment with various barriers which hinder a person with the impairment to participate in societal activities on an equal basis with other persons.
According to him, the Act is to establish the Persons with Disability Advisory Council, to provide for equal opportunities and recognition of rights of persons with disabilities.
“The Act creates an education system which provides age appropriate accessible instruction, assessment, intervention, accommodation, modification, support service, adaptation, physical learning environment and any other relevant additional resources to a learner with disability, in order to help them realise their full potential on an equal basis with others,” he added.