The vice president and minister of Women's Affairs, Her Excellency, Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy yesterday received at her office at State House, members of the 'RESEAU RAPID', a Senegal-based association working in the area of women empowerment.
Speaking to reporters shortly after meeting VP Njie-Saidy,Mme Soukeyna Toure, the president of the organisation expressed her association's readiness to partner with different ministries and women organisations in The Gambia, so as to advance the cause of women in the country. She explained that she came to The Gambia with her delegation from Senegal, and Beatriz Hohenlohe, based in Spain, to meet the vice president and different local authorities of government, particularly the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Vice President's Office.
She said: "My association named 'RESEAU RAPID' is an association working towards helping women and local authorities for development. This association is present around Africa with a membership of over 45,000."
Mme Toure also said that her association is working in different African countries, and hinted that she would like to open a new partnership with the people of The Gambia, as Senegal and Gambia are the same country."This is my second time here after my first visit in 1993. And I'm very comfortable here and surprised by the numerous developments that have taken place," she added.
She disclosed that her association and partners thought it will be a great idea to work with the people of The Gambia and different ministries such as the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, women organisations and different projects among a host of others.
She said that her association gets funds through partnership and local outreach initiatives, from contributions of members as well as fundraising activities. "We are going to start our programmes in Banjul very soon, once we entered a relationship with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture as they are our first partner. We will also like to work in other regions of the country to other rural projects," she remarked.
Mme Toure further stated that she also discussed with the minister of Tourism and Culture, Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, about their plans to bring businesswomen and other local people to The Gambia after their forthcoming April 29th forum in Dakar. "After that forum, we'll come directly to Banjul with a delegation comprising of 500 people, purposely businesswomen, for a three-day workshop in The Gambia," she added.
Also speaking to reporters, Beatriz Hohenlohe, a German-Spanish who is also a member of the delegation, said she felt honoured and delighted to be in The Gambia. She expressed her desire to help the women of The Gambia any way she can, adding that this is the first time she is visiting the Smiling Coast of Africa. Hohenlohe also explained that their organisation is dedicated to preparing women for life as well as expose them to different business opportunities.