Summary of Issues Gambians wish to see in the New Constitution
The current government of The Gambia and the National Assembly established the Constitutional Review Commission in order to draft a new constitution for The Gambia. As part of their mandate, the commission embarked on a series of public consultations throughout the country between November 2018 and January 2019. The public consultation entailed direct interface with Gambian communities around the country to discuss issues regarding constitutional reform and to establish a public opinion on matters Gambians wish to contribute towards the building of a new constitution. Some members of Alliance for Democracy in Africa participated in many of those consultations and below is a summary of popular issues Gambians would like to see included in the new constitution.
Citizenship, a term limit of two terms representing five years per term, a second round of voting, fundamental rights and freedoms, elections, local government structures and empowerment, the executive, the need to establish service commissions for health, education, agriculture and the environment, the legislature, representatives of women, youth and persons with disabilities, declaration of assets, the use of local languages in the National Assembly, public finance, political party finance, national youth service scheme and security of tenure for the offices of the Auditor General, Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia, and Chief Executives of Public Enterprises.
A host of pertinent emerging issues were also raised by the communities ranging from issues relating to foreign investors in The Gambia, acquisition of land by housing estate agents and its negative impact on Gambian communities, livelihoods and grazing land for animals, access to health services, education and other basic services, farmers' lack of access to markets for their produce, women's ownership of and access to land, and youth unemployment, to mention just a few
Minutes of Management Meeting, 31st January, 2018
1. Hon. Kebba Barrow, Majority Leader, Gambia National Assembly
2. Hon. Suwaibou Touray, Member of NGO Affairs Committee, Gambia National Assembly
3. Ms. Renata Ophenders, ADA�s Doctor of Homeopathy and Head of Literacy Program
4. Ms. Nissa Apti, Coordinator of ADA�s Income Generating Enterprises
5. Mr. Amadou Sarr, ADA�s Country Director
6. Mr. Muhammed Tambajang, Membership Recruitment Coordinator
7. Dr. Madi Touray, Secretary General
The meeting was chaired by Dr. Madi Touray.
2. Citizens Ambassador Program
3. Renata Ophender�s plan of activities
4. Any Other Business
Dr. Touray reported to the members about the organization giving medical assistance and that Ms. Renata is to be in charge of dispensing the medication to those in need. The place of distribution will begin in Fajikunda, Sutukoba and Gunjur in the West Coast Region.
Papers for the operation of the dispensation of the medicines have to be filed with the Ministry of Health and all other offices that are concerned in the medical dispensation of the donated medicines.
Fundraising: Money should be raised at least to keep two people at the office with a stipend of one thousand dalasi a month for each person. Dr. Touray said, he would donate twenty-five thousand dalasi for 2018 fiscal year.
It was suggested that ADA�s official, Mr. Mawdo Suso, Entertainment Manager, and his musical group perform for ADA as a fundraiser, and the funds raised be split between Mawdo and ADA after liabilities. Hon. Suwaibou Touray suggested that Semega Janneh Hall in Latrikunda Sabiji could be used for such fundraising events.
➢ An effort should be made to recruit more members for ADA to get more membership funds
➢ Hon. Touray suggested that ADA and some musicians can collaborate to do advertisements for GSM providers like Comium and QCell.
➢ Hon. Barrow also suggested that the tie and dye materials ADA members produce be bought by ADA as an organization and an effort be made to entice businesses that sell such products overseas to buy them wholesale from ADA. This would alleviate the problem of sales for member groups that have such products to sell. Amadou suggested that ADA member groups give a little back to ADA to help start new groups like theirs, and that was supported by Hon. Touray who said the funds contributed by member groups can be used to start new income generating projects.
Adult Literacy: A committee of at least three people, which will include a national assembly member, an ADA official and a member of the community in which the literacy program takes place should should monitor and evaluate the literacy project. Hon. Barrow suggested that people in other fields of work can be involved in the literacy program to teach vocabulary, for example agricultural workers and health workers. Renata asked if materials are available to help in the teaching of these literacy classes and the answer was yes. Hon. Touray suggested that Renata should help in the training of teachers for ADA�s literacy programs. Dr. Touray pointed out that Renata lacks the Gambia government�s official documentation to allow her to work or participate in some of the activities ADA may need her expertise in. It was agreed that ADA will form an MoU with Gambia�s Ministry of Health so that Renata can have official permission to work as Doctor of Homeopathy in The Gambia. Hon. Touray suggested that ADA talks to MRC Holland for materials for the literacy program.
Citizens Ambassador Program: Dr. Touray suggested that persons from other countries should be appointed as ADA Citizen Ambassadors to promote ADA and recruit more members in their countries or communities.
Any Other Business: Renata suggested that ADA should have a stand at Trade Fairs to exhibit what ADA does and provide some of the samples of tie and dye, etc. made by members, for the public to see. This will help in the organization�s recruitment effort.
The meeting concluded by the announcement that Amadou, Renata and Nissa attend a meeting at Cocoa Ocean Hotel on 1st February, 2018 on behalf of ADA.
Minutes compiled by Amadou Sarr
ADA Membership Meeting, 19 December 2017
Present at the meeting were:
Mr. Nafiong Danso, member from Sweden
Dr. Renata Ophelders, member from Holland, ADA's Doctor of Homeopathy and Head of the Literacy Program
Ms Nissa Abti, member from UK
Mr. Mohammed Touray
Mr. Ousman Jaiteh, Logistics Officer
Dr. Madi Touray, Secretary General
1. ADA would like to acknowledge the following individuals:
Dr. Renata Ophelders, Doctor of Homeopathy, is ADA�s Literacy Program Manager. She is in charge of ADA center in Sanyang. She is currently running the adult literacy classes in Sanyang and will begin providing services in homeopathy in January 2018. Renata has also volunteered to serve on ADA fundraising committee.
Mr. Muhammed Tambanjang is ADA�s Membership Recruitment coordinator and has currently been serving as the administrative assistant.
2. Fundraising Strategies: (i) Recruit more new members (ii) Proposal writing: e.g., send more project proposals to organisations, companies, embassies. (iii) Fundraising through Music: e.g., Mr. Mawdo Suso, Entertainment Manager for ADA, and his family wish to organise musical concerts to raise funds in order to support the women�s literacy program. Terms and agreements to be agreed upon with ADA Management Team.
3. Distribution: Distribution of solicitation letters to companies, organisations, embassies and individuals.
4. Requests: ADA requests 10 of its members to recruit 10 new members each, between now and 31st May, 2018. The first person to recruit 10 new members shall be appointed membership director and he/she shall be paid a salary or at least an allowance. The allowance or the salary shall be determined by the ADA Management Team.
Office to be run by the following:
1) Office Manager
2) Programme Manager
3) Membership Director
4) Membership Recruitment Coordinator
5) Administrative Assistant/Officer--Intern
Inauguration of The Gambia's New President, Adama Barrow
ADA was proud to attend The Gambia's new president's swearing-in ceremony. After a lengthy power struggle, Mr. Adama Barrow, the democratically elected president who has promised "a new dawn" for the country, was inaugurated on 18th February, 2017. This day also marked fifty-two years of independence for The Gambia. ADA looks forward to working closely with the government to further its goals of promoting education, development, and women's rights.
Summary of President Barrow's Inauguration Speech
The coalition government will promote and entrench the sovereignty of the Gambian people.
The coalition will eradicate vestiges of self--perpetuating rule in the Gambia.
Government will empower Gambians to defend their sovereignty and to have control over public authority as equal stakeholders.
We will undertake institutional reforms of the executive, legislature, the judiciary, the civil service, and other oversight institutions such as the office of the ombudsman and the independent electoral commission.
We will establish a body jurists and competent personalities to review the constitution with a view to cleansing it of all provisions which are inimical to democracy, good governance and the rule of law, review the elections act to remove provisions such as prohibitive deposits for presidential, national assembly, council and mayoral elections which hinders citizens from exercising their rights to be elected to elective positions.
In tune with section 39 of the 1997 constitution and also section 11 and 141 of the elections act, enfranchise Gambians abroad to vote.
We will establish a constituency boundaries commission in compliance with section 50 of the 1997 constitution, propagate constitutional amendments to restore the provision of section 48 of the constitution that makes it a requirement for a presidential candidate to have more than fifty percent of the valid votes cast before assuming the office of the president in the first ballot.
Section 63 (1) of the 1997 constitution will be subjected to a referendum to introduce the two term limit.
Sutukoba Women's Rice Field
The Sutukoba Women's Rice Field was heavily damaged by flooding in late 2015. ADA launched an appeal and raised money to help the women regain their livelihood.
The rice paddies amount to five hectares and rice will be harvested every three months. Six hundred women and their families are benefiting from the project.
Sutukoba Day Care Center
ADA used part of its generous overseas donations to buy chairs, tables and books for the 70 children who attend the Sutukoba day care center. Sutukoba is a farming community of about 10,000 people, and is 257 miles east of Banjul, the capital of The Gambia. The contribution was very much appreciated by the community.
Visit of Students from Juniata College
Recently students at Sheikh Mass Kah Senior Secondary School benefitted from the expertise of students from Juniata College in the USA. They assisted in teaching various subjects, including English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Geography, Social Studies, Biology, History, and Governance.Their report on Governance is available to download. Juniata College is a dedicated and valued member of ADA and has assisted in many projects and fund-raising efforts.
Click here to download Report on Governance
Capacity Building Workshop
ADA recently organized a Capacity Building Workshop for its members in The Gambia to educate them about the setting up and role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). See attached presentation.
Click here to download Capacity Building Workshop presentation
Nima Gibba Centre for Youth and Women Development
Ms. Nima Gibba is the daughter of Eliman Gibba. Nima's family continues to be an outstanding and generous donor to Alliance for Democracy in Africa since the organization was established in 2000.
However, two years ago, Nima was involved in a car accident
and tragically passed away at the very tender age of 11. During her
life, Nima's wish was to help people, especially the under-privileged youth and women, in the areas of education, income-generating enterprises for women,
African cultural development through music and dancing, etc.
In recognition of her and her family's continuous support for ADA, the organization has recently established the "Nima Gibba Centre for Women and Youth Development" in Farato village, about twenty minutes' drive from Serrekunda. The centre currently trains 75 girls and boys, from ages three to five, to read and write.
The centre also plans to train 600 women members of ADA in skills of tie and dye, vegetable gardening, soap making, and other income-generating activities.
ADA highly appreciates everyone's support to ensure that the center fulfills Nima's dreams of enriching the lives of the less fortunate members of our society.