Members of the Action Aid International Review Team that is currently in the country to assess the work of the international NGO, Tuesday afternoon held talks with the vice president and minister of Women's Affairs, Her Excellency Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy at State House in Banjul.
The visiting officials also had the opportunity to discuss with government officials a number of cross-cutting issues surrounding the intervention of Action Aid International The Gambia, as well as highlight other issues including youth employment, health, agriculture, and education among a host of others.
Speaking to reporters at the end of the meeting, the leader of the Review Team, Poguri Chennaiaha, who is also a board member of Action Aid International India, said their mission in the country is basically to see how the Gambian authorities and Action Aid are trying to work on addressing the issue of empowerment.
"Action Aid Gambia has been here for the last 30 years and has been collaborating with the government. But now, the international NGO is on a transition," he indicated.
Poguri further explained that this process will also enable the local organisation to contribute more in addressing poverty, human rights, health and education among a host of other areas. He disclosed that they are in the country to engage in a consultation with stakeholders including government officials with a view to understanding how Action Aid Gambia will grow as a self-sufficient organisation,
"We feel that after undergoing several processes here, we are very happy about how Action Aid Gambia has been growing," he remarked.
The Review Team leader acknowledged that Action Aid International The Gambia has registered tremendous success in the country, while noting that he was really impressed with the positive words of the vice president. This, he posited, demonstrates the government's readiness to work with the NGO in the development efforts of the country.
"So we are very much impressed by the way the vice president has understood the issue on the ground and for also extending cooperation issues for the NGOs to come and work with the government as partners in development," he further stated.
Poguri said that despite the fact that the NGO is going through a transitional process, it has been very concerned about issues relating to youth, thus assuring that they will continue to devise ways to strengthen the development of youths globally.
"Without youths, change cannot happen. So youths are our future generation and they are the drivers of our future development process," he stated, and recalled that during their discussion, Dr Njie-Saidy even acknowledged that youth development is one of the key focal concerns of the current government.