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Archive for March 4th, 2008

Sensitization workshop in Gambia

Posted by African Press International on March 4, 2008


<From Mohammed Legally-Cole)

The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices (GAMCOTRAP), on Saturday 23rd February 2008, organised a day’s training and sensitization workshop on the most talked about Female Genital Mutilation (F.G.M) for the media fraternity in the Gambia. The objective of the workshop was to capacitize the media on how to sensitize the general populace on Female Genital Mutilation. The workshop brought together Senior Journalists and editors from both the electronic and print media.

Mrs. Bijou Peters, a veteran journalist, in her opening remarks described how important and powerful the media would be in fighting against F.G.M and harmful practices. She stated that through the commitment of the media the goals of GAMCOTRAP would be well realised by the entire populace. She urged the media to engage themselves in the fight against F.G.M and women’s rights.

Dr Isatou Touray, for her part, also described how the media is a stakeholder in their fight against FGM and women’s rights. She dilated on the concept of advocacy, that the media has a significant role in informing the masses at the grass roots level. She indicated that it would be very vital for the media to be involved in grass roots advocacy and to serve as the voice of the voiceless. She pointed out the need for the media to be knowledgeable about F.G.M so as to disseminate correct scientific information, noting that media commitment is very significant before it can be an advocate. She stated that the media can play a role in enhancing the implementation of laws, regulations policies and programmes.

Mrs. Amie Bojang Sissoho underscored the need for the involvement of the media in the fight against. F.G.M. She stated that GAMCOTRAP alone cannot do all the work and that they deem it necessary for the media to participate and be fully involved in the struggle against F.G.M practice.

Mrs. Bojang-Sissoho added that the media should now adopt using the word ‘mutilation’ instead of cutting. She noted that the media has a great influence over the population, that their involvement would be well received by the people from both sectors of the public and the society.

Journalist Sarata Jabbi-Dibba and Fatou Jobe from The Point newspaper and GRTS respectively, who attended a regional workshop in Addis Ababa, on African media and the role of women in eradicating harmful traditions in Africa, also gave presentations from the workshop in Ethiopia.

At the end of the day, pertinent cross-cutting issues were discussed between the media practitioners, who later submitted recommendations to GAMCOTRAP. The media also pledged to work together with GAMCOTRAP to form a network of journalists against F.G.M. A video documentary was also viewed by the participants, which highlighted the negative impact F.G.M has on people who practiced it.

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Posted by African Press International on March 4, 2008

mohamed-legally-cole.jpg<By Mohammed Legally-Cole)

The Gambia and Guinea-Bissau on Thursday 28th February 2008 held a one-day Joint ministerial meeting. The meeting, coming three years since the two countries last convened one of its kinds, was held at the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul. The focal points of the meeting were the issues of agriculture, trade, customs, transport, social security, justice, amongst other development-related issues confronting the two countries.

The Guinea Bissau delegation was led by His Excellency Mr. Martinho NDafa Cabi, Prime Minister of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau. Speaking earlier, the Guinea Bissau Prime Minister, Mr. Martinho NDafa Cabi, commented that the two countries share cultural and historical ties, noting that it was the colonial masters who divided us. He reassured his countrys readiness to consolidate and give a boost to the cordial relationship it has with The Gambia.

In order to have peace and stability within the sub-region, countries have to forge very strong links to bring about the desired development,he stated.

For his part, Martinho NDafa Cabi, the Prime Minister of Guinea Bissau, amplified that the two countries share cultural and historical ties, but colonisation divided people. He expressed appreciation with the warm and friendly welcome accorded to him since arrival, noting that this showed a good signal of the brotherly relations between Banjul and Bissau.

Prime Minister Cabi then used the opportunity to convey President Vieiras warm congratulation and greetings to President Jammeh and the Gambian people.

In her opening remarks, Her Excellency Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy, Vice President of the Republic of The Gambia, intimated that The Gambia is second home to the people of Guinea Bissau, noting that the two countries have strong historical, cultural and ethnic relationships that bind them.

In this regard, all efforts must be geared towards ensuring that unity and unity of purpose are maintained not only at the bilateral but also at the regional and the continental levels, she stated.

According to Vice President Njie-Saidy, this joint inter ministerial meeting provides the opportunity to bring together policy makers and experts of the two countries to exchange views on development-related issues that challenge them. These, she emphasised, must be placed at the centre of our respective development and joint cooperation agenda if we are to realize the goals of halving extreme poverty and hunger by target date of 2015, set in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Vice President Njie-Saidy went on to express confidence that with the expertise, commitment and dedication of able officials, progress would be made on how to tackle and resolve issues affecting us with a view to ensuring a better future for the peoples of the two countries, as well as bringing to fruition their development dreams and aspirations in an atmosphere of peace and security.

She added that this Joint Commission should allow for stocktaking on all that the two countries have achieved over the years and follow up on unresolved issues or, where necessary, table new ones that may have cropped up in the interim. She assured those gathered that The Gambia would continue to be a partner and staunch supporter of the Bissau Guinean cause as it strives to rebuild its economy and entrench its democracy.

She emphasised that peace and security are the bedrock of any countrys development, adding that The Gambia has always been and will continue to be a partner and a staunch supporter of the Bissau-Guinean cause, as it strives to rebuild her economy and deepen its democracy.Our acceptance to participate in the deliberations of the United Nations Peace Building Commission as friends of Guinea-Bissau is a testimony of our commitment to assist the brotherly nation consolidate recent gains and improve security conditions there and by extension in the sub-region, she elaborated.

In another development, Martinho NDafa Cabi, the Prime Minister of Guinea Bissau met President Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh in his office at State House, Banjul, The Gambia.

Speaking to newsmen soon after the meeting, Prime Minister Cabi said his visit to Banjul was meant to head the Joint Inter-Ministerial Commission between two countries, adding that it is a tradition to pay a courtesy call on the president.He informed the journalists that the technocrats from the two countries are currently deliberating on the agenda of the commission, expressing hope that there will be good results at the end of the discussions. He added that they have also identified and analysed areas of cooperation between The Gambia and Guinea Bissau at both national and international levels.

He used the opportunity to convey President Vieiras greetings, compliments and best wishes to the Gambian leader and the people of The Gambia..

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