TANGO Executive Director Recommends Vetting of NGOs

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By: Kebba AF Touray

Ndey Sireng Bakurin, the Executive Director of the Association of non-Governmental Organizations (TANGO ED) has recommended the need for a vetting system for the registration of NGOs in the Gambia.

Mrs Bakurin made the above statement on Monday, 29 January 2024, during her appearance before members of the Environment Committee of the National Assembly to discuss issues regarding the status of NGOs in the country.

She said one of their concerns is the issue of registering NGOs some of whose existence the NGO Affairs Agency will not know, even if the organization is a charitable organisation.

“We have raised this with the Finance Minister when we visited him at his Ministry and we will continue to advocate for this. We believe that TANGO and the NGO Affairs Agency and the Justice Ministry, should work together for the security of this country and to know who is doing what, we need to monitor them as an umbrella organization,” she said.

She said the Ministry of Justice should be provided with the capacity to monitor NGOs after their registration because it is important for the security of the nation.

‘‘Right now, I cannot tell you how many charitable organizations are operating in the Gambia. Only the Ministry of Justice can tell. And whether they are monitoring them is a question that only the Ministry can answer,” she said.

“In this day and age of different issues such as terrorism, Gambia as a country needs to do better monitoring and vetting of such organisations.I raise this issue wherever we go and we want to recommend that the Ministry of Justice work with the NGO Affairs Agency because if one is registered for example, after operating two years in the Gambia,they should register with the NGO Affairs Agency. However, some do not bother to do this,” she explained;adding that some are just non-existent because they are just charitable organizations.She stated if somebody wants to register, they can be referred to go to TANGO, where they will be vetted. She recommended that such organizations may be on genuine causes and deserve to be registered in the country.