By: Foday Manneh
The International Republican Institute (IRI), in partnership with the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly, has commenced a four-day training on enhancing the capacities of parliamentarians for effective legislative oversight.
The training, which runs from January 18 — 22, 2023, at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara Conference Center, is funded by the United States Embassy in The Gambia.
The Resident Program Director of IRI, Jimmy Sankaituah, in giving the general overview of the program said his institution is committed to contributing to consolidating the democratic gains of The Gambia through such programs.
“This commitment demonstrated through the work IRI has done and continues to do with the National Assembly leading to incite facilitators from Uganda and USA to pair with those in The Gambia to share their insights into the workings of the Parliament,” Jimmy said.
The Country Director of Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), Madi Jobarteh, maintains that for the building and strengthening of democracy and good governance, lawmakers are needed to promote excellent and human rights-friendly laws.
He, however, stressed that the training is timely and will help form a solid parliament to ensure good governance and respect for human rights.
Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States Embassy in Banjul, Eric Mahler, underscored the great responsibility the NAMs have, reminding them that they represent the hopes, dreams, and ambitions of the Gambian people and should, therefore, utilize this training.
Legislative oversight seeks to ensure that the executive and its agencies, or those to whom authority is delegated, remain responsive and accountable, the US diplomat told Lawmakers.
The Speaker of the National Assembly, Fabakary Tombong Jatta, outlines that: “Parliamentarians speak on behalf of the poor and other vulnerable groups, ensure that the real priorities inform development plans on the ground, adopt requisite legislation, approve budget allocations and exercise oversight over expenditures,”