ACDHR trains journalists, CSOs

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) The Gambia office and ActonAid The Gambia, has organised a three-day capacity building training workshop for journalists and civil society organisations in The Gambia at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi.

The three-day training, which kicked-off yesterday, was meant to enhance popular civic participation of citizens in all decision making processes, especially in matters affecting their lives.

The forum is expected to showcase presentations of different papers covering a wide range of human rights and human development issues, especially on women, children, political and economic developments.

Mrs Hannah Forster, executive director of The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS), speaking at the opening ceremony, expressed a deep sense of gratitude to the UNDP for sponsoring the training workshop.  She equally thanked the media practitioners and civil society organisations for responding to their call.

The ACDHRS boss spoke at length on the role of media practitioners, civil society organisations and non-governmental organisation (NGOs.  She emphasised the need for people to acquaint themselves with laws, treaties, conventions and declarations, especially the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Protocol on Women Rights.

Alhagie Cham, permanent secretary at the Department of State for Communication, Information and Information Technology, who deputised for SoS Fatim Badjie-Janneh, described the role of the media and civil society organisations as very crucial to national development.  He emphasised the need for capacity building of media practitioners and civil society organisations.

The PS, on behalf of the SoS for Communication, Information and Information Technology, assured the gathering of his office’s open door policies and readiness to work with the media and the civil society organisations.

For his part, Basiru Jahumpa, head of the Capacity Building Project at the UNDP - The Gambia office, on behalf of the UNDP resident representative in The Gambia, expressed his office’s readiness to build the capacities of civil society organisations, especially media practitioners. 

"We want to ensure that every media house in the country is well capacitated even in the absence of the conventional journalism school.  We want them to be equipped and trained to perform their roles effectively," he said .

Pa Modou Faal, who stood in for Ndey Tapha Sosseh, president of The Gambia Press Union (GPU), assured organisers and participants of the GPU’s resolve to work with partners in national development. He also gave a brief overview of the role of journalists in any give society.

Other speakers at the ceremony included Musu Sonko, who represented the director general of TANGO, Ousman Yabo.

Mariatou Ngum & Amadou Jallow contributed to this story.

Author: by Sanna Jawara