By Sailu Bah
This occasion was graced by representatives from the Ministry of Lands and Regional Government, regional governors, chairmen of Area Councils, CEOs of Councils, Ward councilors, the mayors from the two municipalities, GALGA members, the media and other invited guests.
In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Yankuba Colley, the Mayor of KMC and President of GALGA, reminded the participants that since they held their annual meeting in Brikama last year, they could not meet owing to their very busy schedules that are connected to national duties. “Let me therefore thank you for your patience till this day,” said Mayor Colley.
Mayor Colley said the major activity of which GALGA was involved was the regional consultation meeting held immediately after the National Consensus Building Workshop. He said this workshop had brought together participants from Ghana, Zimbabwe and The Gambia, adding that it is gratifying to note that GALGA was able to successfully host such an international gathering.
He said GALGA has prepared and submitted proposals to the British Embassy, US Embassy and UNDP on capacity building to strengthen local authorities and expressed hope to succeed in getting the requested support.
The GALGA President said they are still awaiting the restart of the Strengthened Transnational Partnership (STRAP) project between the Gambia, Ghana and Zimbabwe, as communications from Zimbabwe are alluding that it will start sooner than later.
“I wish to inform you that GALGA will redouble her efforts in the course of local governance in the Gambia,” he assured.
The KMC Mayor called on the councils to participate in the fight against the EBOLA diseases in their local jurisdictions because it is real and very deadly. He also recommended for hand washing at the premises of local councils.
Alhagie Mustapha M. Njie, Chief Executive Officer of KMC who also doubles as GALGA Secretary General, gave an update on the activities carried out by the association since 2005.
Mr. Njie said, “in order to enhance effective participation of the Local government fraternity in the operations of GALGA, it is quite fitting to provide adequate details on GALGA both nationally and internationally.”
He said GALGA is a charitable, non-political, non religious and non profitable organization established in September 2002. He said the association comprises all the eight Local Government Authorities in the country and the headquarters is located at No. 33 Foday Kabba Highway, Latrikunda Sabiji, in the Kanifing Municipality.
The goal of the association, said the Secretary General, is to ensure and enhance good governance, accountability and transparency in Local Government administrations in the Gambia.
The update on GALGA finances was presented by Mr. Abdoulie Nyang, the association’s finance officer and Director of Finance at Banjul City Council.
In the ensuing discussion, the participants agreed that all LGAs should pay their annual subscription fees to the association.
In the election that follows, Mr. Momodou Mbye, Chairman Kuntuar Area Council, was elected to fill in the vacant position of first vice president.
Mr. Mbye thanked everyone who participated in the election and said it is a collective responsibility for everyone to come on board for the development of GALGA. He also recommended for councilors to be represented in the executive of GALGA.
Alahagie Lamin Ceesay, Chairman Kerewan Area Council and second vice president of GALGA, in his closing remarks, thanked all the participants, adding that the election is necessary in order to fulfill the requirements of their constitution.
He urged his fellow members to work positively toward the improvement of GALGA, adding that they should cooperate as the mouth-piece of the local authorities to influence policy makers to come up with policies that will positively impact on their operations as councils.