FOROYAA Newspaper (Serrekunda)

2 April 2011

Gambia: 'Partnership and Participation Are Key in Development', Says Hannah Forster

The Child Protection Alliance (CPA) with funding from the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS), through its Raising Her Voice Project, on Wednesday the 23rd of March, 2011 organised a two-day workshop for security officials, young women leaders, students, young people, seasoned women leaders and other relevant stakeholders at the Baoboab Holiday Resort in Bijilo.

In her welcoming remarks, Amie Kujabi, Youth Coordinator of CPA, noted the fellowship which was held in Ghana from 12th July to 2nd August last year which was organised by the Moremi Initiative for Women Leadership in African. She said the fellowship was an endeavored or attempt to engage, inspire and equip a generation of African young people, leaders and girls both living in Africa and the Diaspora through a year long training and monitoring programme.

She revealed that during this period, fellows are expected to design and implement a community project that looks at some of the most critical problems confronting women in their various communities and try to address them.

"It was on this backdrop that this workshop is organised to bring together officials, relevant stakeholders, youth, student and young female leaders to learn, share experience and best practices, build bridges and a network of solidarity and address the problem of comprehending and effective implementation of women's rights instruments, especially at national level," said Kujabi.

In her launching statement, Madam Hannah Forster, the Executive Director of African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies, said it is very important for young men and young women to come together to discuss issues affecting their lives. She asked how young men and women who are going to be the future leaders would run society without knowledge of their rights, if the time came for them to take the helm of power. Knowing the vital role women leaders and young people in general play in society, they would become the next generation of liaising politicians, social entrepreneurs, activists and change agents who can transform and change institutions that legitimize and perpetuate discriminate against women, said Foster.

She said that participation is key in any development and that one cannot be in the receiving end always without giving out.

Therefore, the full and active participation of young women in leadership is a pre-requisite for positive change and development in Africa, with the Gambian being no exception in addressing the problem of comprehension and effective implementation of women's rights instruments both at national and international level. This will be an avenue where the participants can learn, share best practices and experiences, build bridges and a network of solidarity, said Madam Foster.

The Director of Youth and Sports, Malang Jassey, also spoke at the work shop which was chaired by Satang Nabaneh.

The workshop was a forum to initiate discussion and an open debate on policies, activities and programmes concerning young people and to draw up an action plan for subsequent activities.

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