By Amadou Jallow
GALGA Program Officer – Communication
The chairman of the Gambia Local Government Authorities Association (GALGA) said on Tuesday that they have started a solid step towards building the capacity of officials in the eight local government areas (municipal, municipal and regional councils) that will enable them to respond adequately to the development requirements of the times.
Addressing participants at the conclusion of a five-day intensive capacity building training for leaders of GALGA’s eight member councils at the Mansakonko Regional Council conference hall, Landing B Sanneh said their intention was to set up the space to lay the foundations for change in the Councils.
The training covered the areas of concept note and project proposal writing, monitoring plan and budget writing with participants including chief executives, mayors and presidents, directors of planning and development and planning officers.
This was part of a United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security (UNTFHS) project that GALGA secured from UNFPA Gambia through the National Youth Council – Gambia titled: Localizing the SDGs – Improve the livelihoods of vulnerable women and youth around the Senegambia Bridge. The project aims to address the negative livelihood challenges faced by vulnerable women and youth following the advent of the Senegambia Bridge.
“We organized this training because we realized that councils cannot continue to rely solely on their basic incomes to implement their programs and activities,” said Mr. Sanneh, who is also the incumbent president of the Mansakonko Regional Council.
He said the training was one of their attempts to implement changes in local government areas and they intended to continue to organize to avoid councils depending only on their principals. sources of revenue to provide services to taxpayers.
Given the centrality of local councils in the collection and management of local revenues and the high expectations taxpayers have of them, it has become prudent for them to adopt a new system of diversifying their sources of income, moving solely from taxation to conceptualizing new ideas. on increasing revenue from external sources.
During the five days, participants were trained in the preparation of marketable concept notes, project proposals, project implementation plans and budgets. They also benefited from a broader knowledge of monitoring and evaluation and writing activity reports and project and financial reports.
Mr. Sanneh thanked the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security for funding the project through UNFPA Gambia for funding the project and the National Youth Council of The Gambia for the partnership. .
Kebba Darboe, Deputy Governor of the Lower River Region, said the training will help local councils develop marketable project proposals for funding, saying councils are essential partners in development.
Ousman Sonko, lead trainer and deputy director of the Rural Development Institute (RDI), said the training was practical and expected to bring huge changes in guidance on writing project proposals, reporting , implementation and budgeting.
He encouraged the trainees to stay focused on their day-to-day activities and ensure that they practice the training at their various levels of counseling.
Speaking on behalf of the Executive Director of the National Youth Council (NYC), Lower River Region Youth Committee Chairman Ousman Sanneh said NYC and local councils are supporting young people who he believes will remain intact. He also encouraged GALGA and its partners to support Councils to enable them to deliver development to their taxpayers.
Kebba Darboe, Deputy Governor of the Lower River Region, said the training will help local councils develop marketable project proposals for funding, saying councils are essential partners in development. “Knowledge is a waste if it cannot add value to humanity,” he said.
In his vote of thanks, Chief Executive Officer of Janjangbureh Regional Council, Paa Sait Ceesay, said the convergence was not only aimed at developing and building the capacity of the councils, but also brought together the fraternity of local governments to discuss matters of common interest and concern.