Gambia: Leadership Training for Prison Officers Ends

Twenty senior personnel of the Gambia Prison Services recently concluded a two-week intensive capacity building training on leadership skills at the Management Development Institute (MDI) in Kanifing.

The training facilitated by the Personnel Management Office (PMO) and conducted by the MDI marked the end of the year-long training package set aside by the authorities for the members of the security apparatus.

The year ended year 2012 saw dozens of personnel drawn from all the security agencies/forces such as the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), Gambia Police Force (GPF), Gambia Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS), Gambia Prison Service (GPS), trained on vital skills that would go a long way in ensuring not only a productive work, but also enhance the operational efficiency of the security agencies.

Addressing the Prison officers, the deputy director general of the MDI, Alieu K. Jarju, underscored capacity building as a key ingredient for national development as espoused in the national development blueprint, Vision 2020. He stressed that capacity building is also a centrepiece for both the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and the Gambia government's policy that was initially promulgated in 1999.

The MDI deputy DG went on to inform that there is already a policy that requires training, skills development and overall capacity building for all sectors of the economy.

He averred that capacity building is a necessary crosscutting theme that ensures that all workers are on the cutting edge of their fields of responsibility.

"It is not supposed to be a choice; instead it is an urgent necessity for all nations, especially for people like ours that are listed among developing countries. This is partly the reason why the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the single most important champion of this concept, defines capacity development as "the process through which individuals, organisations, and societies obtain, strengthen and maintain time", he told the graduating Prison officers.

Consequently, Jarju enjoined them to take capacity building as an important part of their life, stressing that this is anchored on the fact that as technology and society progress, education or updating skills must progress as well.

"For human resources to deliver efficient and effective service there must be present the necessary fundamental skills," he concluded.

The deputy director general of the Gambia Prison Services, Yaya P. Jarjue, said although the length of the training was a short one, it had given them the opportunity to acquire a basic managerial skills.

"The skills you have acquired will be positively put into use in your different places of posting that can bring about a positive change," he concluded, while commending the PMO and MDI for the initiative.

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