VP receives Action aid regional boss
Monday, February 16, 2009
The vice president and secretary of state for Women’s Affairs, Dr Ajaratou Isatou Njie-Saidy, yesterday morning, received at her office, Madam Dede Amanor-Wilks, Actionaid International director for West and Central Africa.
Accompanied by Dr Kujejatou Manneh, Actionaid country director, the Actionaid top official was at the vice president’s office to discuss an array of issues including the activities and plans of the NGO in the country.
Speaking to reporters shortly after her audience with The Gambia’s vice president, Madam Wilks spoke about her mission in the country, which she said, is to provide technical assistance to the new programmes of the country office. She said that the international NGO has been active in the country since 1979, but noted that in the last few years there has been a sort of decline in its activities and programmes.
This observation, she added, prompted them to envisage new goals in its programmes, noting she is here to work with the team in planning those goals. According to her, she had the opportunity to deepen her discussion with Vice President Njie-Saidy to the much debatable issue of regional integration, which she told reporters, is their new priority programme for the next three years. "We had very active and encouraging discussion about regional integration and the way in which we, as NGOs can support the efforts of African governments so as to enable the continent take its place in the world. We hope that regional integration will create economics of scale thereby promoting trade between African countries. This would ensure that the continent increases its trade with the rest of the world," she underscored.
The Actionaid International director reiterated the fact that the NGO community have a role to play on the ground, in deepening people’s understanding by encouraging them to start discussions about regional integration and what it means for them. This, she observed, would enable people to further understand that the regional integration is something not imposed by government, ECOWAS or AU but the people themselves.
According to her, the vice president was keenly interested in regional integration, and noted that those complementary roles would support the work of governments and regional bodies. "She feels that regional integration is the reality throughout Africa", she said, saying that they had agreed that the three-sister- neighbouring countries such as The Gambia, Senegal and Guinea Bissau could be terrain for developing a module for cross-border trading and other types of regional integration activities.
In a separate engagement at State House, the vice president also received in audience the director of Global Homm - Gambia Bijilo Clinic, Mr Byung Barnabas Lee, who led a delegation of 13 medical specialists from New York in the USA.
Accompanied to the State House by the secretary of state for Health and Social Welfare, Dr Mariatou Jallow, Mr Barnabas Lee and his team’s visit was meant to brief The Gambia’s vice president about their future plans and activities in the country. Also speaking to reporters shortly after his audience with Dr Njie-Saidy, Mr Barnabas Lee told reporters that the team that comprised medical specialists such as cardiologists, dentists, amongst others are in the country to provide medical services to the people at their Bijilo Clinic located along the Senegambia highway.
He revealed plans by them to complete both phases two and three of the project they started in the country 3 years ago, and noted that the phase two of the project is expected to start very soon. Mr Barnabas Lee used the opportunity to hail the Gambian leader for providing them the land for such a noble initiative. In the same vein, he commended Dr Njie-Saidy for her support.
Author: by Hatab Fadera