27 December 2012

Gambia: Activista Concludes Policy Analysis Training

Activista the Gambia, the Youth arm of ActionAid the Gambia which is advocating for the ending of hunger and poverty in country, has concluded three days of training on Policy and Policy processes at the YMCA Hall in Kanifing.

Talking to this reporter at end of the training, Muhammad Lamin Saidykhan, the Coordinator of Activista, said Activista is a network of students and young people across rich and poor countries campaigning for a HUNGER FREE world and connected to ActionAid. He revealed that their scope is gradually expanding to cover other issues that impact on people living in poverty and who face cases of denial routinely. He said this is a unique opportunity for mobilising and connecting young people globally and around issues and it facilitates their engagement at the local, national and international levels to effect systems change across.

Saidykhan said in The Gambia Activista is merged with the national chapter of African Youth Coalition Against Hunger and has a membership of about 3000. He said Activista is registered as an independent organisation but it works under the guidance and support of ActionAid International The Gambia and Activista International.

"Although Activista coordinates its activities from a central location, it also has regional representation and school and community based clubs for enhanced programme outreach", said its Coordinator.

Talking about the training, Mr. Saidykhan noted that in 2011, the EU Non State Actors (NSA) Strengthening Programme conducted a capacity needs assessment of Activista members and other partners in the country and that the training programme that has just concluded is in response to the demands of some members who have little or no idea about policy and what it entails. He noted the need to strengthen the capacity of their members and partner members on policy process, policy and budget analysis.

Asked about the objectives of the training, Mr. Saidykhan said they are 1. To enhance better understanding of the importance of policy and policy process, 2. To improve skills and knowledge in undertaking and carrying out policy and budget analysis, 3. To enhance their knowledge and understanding on accountability, democracy and good governance and 4. To enhance their knowledge of public policy e.g. national budget.

Regarding the significance of the training, the Activista Coordinator said as an Advocacy Network there is need for their members to built their capacities in order to be able to analyze policy to advocate for change if there is a defect in policy in ensuring a Hunger-Free and Poverty-Free world.

In his conclusion, Mr. Saidykhan thanked the ActionAid The Gambia through the head of the Policy Unit, Alhagi Lamin Nyangando, for funding this important training.

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