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Published On: Thu, Oct 20th, 2022

Capacity building training for National Assembly Standing Committee on Defense and Security underway

A three-day capacity building training for the members of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defense and Security on the review and analysis of security Institutions reports and budget review and analysis has kicked off on Wednesday at the Metzy Residence Hotel in Kotu.

Speaking at the commencement of the training,the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly and Chairman of the Standing Committee for Defense and Security of the National Assembly, Seedy Njie stated that the training came at a time when government was preparing the 2023 budgetestimates for consideration and approval by the National Assembly.

He told the gathering that it is envisaged that the training will no doubt enhance the capacity of Members of the Security and Defense Committee with the required skills to better understand, review and scrutinize reports and budgets of security Institutions.

Honorable Njie noted that the government of The Gambia annually spends huge sums of tax payers’ money on security and security related equipment, and reports and budgets of security institutions are usually classified in such a way that it gets difficult to review and analyze to make informed decision.

However, he established that the training would provide the Committee the rare opportunity to understand security sector budgeting as well as analytical skills to conduct effective scrutiny and oversight over the sector.

He advanced that a thorough understanding of security Institutions report and budget will enable the Committee to not only scrutinize the reports but also advocate for more budgetary allocations where needed to enable them execute their functions effectively and efficiently.

He thanked DCAF for the continue supportand collaboration in building the capacity of the members to perform effective oversight over the security sector.

Deputy Speaker Njiefurther concluded by thanking President Barrow for the political will and support towards the whole security sector reforms, adding that despite numerous challenges, Barrow’s government continue to provide the much needed support to ensure that the security sector is transformed to a more professional body adhering to the rule of law and democratic tenets.

 In his part, Mr. Irving Vidal, the Deputy Head of Office and Senior Border Management and National Security adviser for the Geneva Center For Security Sector Governance (DCAF) in Banjul said that DCAF is currently implementing numerous significant projects in the Gambia’s Security Sector Reform process within their strategic framework such as supporting the Gambia Police Force, a European Union funded project as well the Gambia Immigration
Department, which is a Swiss Government Funded.

On behalf of DCAF, he expressed gratitude to the Government of the Gambia for the notable efforts to impulse the Security Sector Reform. He took the opportunity to thank theEuropean Union for funding the capacity-building activities in support of the SSRagenda of the Gambian government.

He noted that among these capacity-building activities undertaken, DCAF has conducted specific events to improve the Gambia Police Force’s efficiency to enhance their annual and periodic reporting to the Ministry of Interior, and a planned workshop for the MOI, to enhance
their capacity to analyze these reports and their subsequent presentation before the NationalAssembly.

The Deputy Head further showed a sign of recognition to The Gambia government as an example in sustaining democracy for the past five years.

He added that as threats are in and outside with the trends in transnational organized crime, a diverse portfolio of illegal activities, the coordination among the government branches must secure the continuing as democratic process, specifically in the Security Sector Reform.

He outlined that although, the current constitution does not stipulate international law as a source of domestic law, and he said they that they shall remember that UN Security Council resolutions are binding to all state parties, regardless of their legal systems.

He said that the DCAF Overview is the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance and a center of excellence in justice and support to the security sector who are dedicated and fully committed to
improving human and state security by strengthening democratic control, rule of law, and respect for human rights.

Adding that preserving security and stability in democracies is critical now more than ever.

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