Participants interacting in the community discussion

By MUHAMMED S. BAH

Action Aid International and the Gambia Global Youth Network or Activista, recently briefed the media on their role to educate young people, on their rights to vote. The briefing took place at the Activista offices in Kanifing during the weekend.

Ansuma Camara, Program Assistant with Activista Gambia, said early in April 2018, the organization held a community outreach campaign to sensitize youth, women and political parties in five communities, on local government election, voter apathy, youth and women political participation, current political situation of the country, as well as political participation. He added that the project, aims to increase awareness on the participation in local government elections; that the project aims to engage participants on the importance of Local Government Elections and why women and youth should participate in it.

“We were in these communities to talk to them about the importance of participating in LGA elections,” Camara said.

According to Camara, local government is one of the most significant elections in the country; that it’s because the representative in Councils are the closest representatives to the citizenry, but asked how many people are aware of this, particularly among women and youth; that this is one of the reasons they are meeting these communities and talking to them.

Camara said during their visit to Busumba, the Alkalo, as the village head, welcomed the initiative and thanked Activista for organizing the event.

Ansuman said one man in Sibanor, challenged his community to participate effectively in politics; that the man said political participation enhances democracy and accountability and made special emphasis on women and youth who form over 60% of the country.

A community radio presenter, also called for the need for people to come together and live harmonious lives and to push the development agenda forward for the country. He said some journalists working with the current administration aim to divide the people of country, which they will not accept.

“The way they broadcast is not impartial. They exaggerate and make character defamatory remarks. This can compromise the peace and security the country is known for,” he said.

He promised to use his platform to encourage people, especially youth and women, to vote massively come next local government elections.

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