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OP Organizes Public Forum To Mark This Year’s Independence Celebration

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Panelists at the Public Forum.

By Ramatoulie Jawo

The National Organising Committee of the 58th Independence Celebration under the office of the President, on Thursday, organized a Public forum to mark this Years National Day under the theme “Democracy -A Recipe For Peace And Development.” 

The event was held at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center.

The Gambia will celebrate its 58 years of Independence on Saturday since the country gained independence from Britain. 

The aim of the event is for citizens across all walks of life and sectors, both Public & private, to reflect on strategies in connection with the theme to trigger an understanding of democracy, peace, and development. 

In his opening remarks, the Attorney General and Minister Justice, Hon. Dawda A. Jallow highlights the importance of democracy in a peaceful country. 

“The theme is not just timely but also relevant to the challenges we face as a nation. As we celebrate this important milestone, it is important to acknowledge the role that democracy has and continues to play in our nation-building process. Democracy can promote peace and development in several ways key among them is accountability,” He said 

The Justice Minister added that democracy allows citizens to hold their leaders accountable for their actions, which in turn, fosters a culture of transparency and reduction of corruption. 

“Democracy is building on rule of law which provides a framework for protecting human rights, promoting justice and equality, and resolving disputes in peaceful manners. To ensure that people can live in peace, security and free from violence and Cohesion,” he stated. 

The Attorney General expressed the belief that the discussion and recommendations arising from the forum will be useful in shaping the policies and programs that will help in accelerating the peace of the nation. 

The first panel of the forum brought together young people from different working backgrounds who reflect on issues surrounding the theme of the forum. 

During the panel discussion the Managing Director of Trust Bank, Njillan Senghore, talked about democracy in the context of her field which is finance. 

“In 2016, before the election, my sector was only able to mobilize a deposit of around D17 billion this is just before the election. Today by the end of December 2022 we are talking about a deposit mobilization of over D54 billion. So D17 billion to D54 billion is a huge difference. I think we can give credit to peace and stability,” She disclosed. 

A young pan Africanist Ousman Touray said the Gambia should pay attention to the fact that they are no longer young as a country. 

 Mr. Touray said Gambians should work and establish something Concrete for the current generation and generations to come. 

He said when they talk about peace and development Gambia is known for its existing peace which is not a new thing. 

“Gambians everywhere are observed and looked at as very peaceful individuals. But the early warning signs of the threat of existing peace are a daily reality. We see this in our houses, communities, and everyday engagements. That should send us a signal as to where we are heading,” he said. 

The second panel of the forum teases legal, social, and political issues in the exercise of democratic rights to maintain peace and enhance sustainable development

The panel brought together officials from different fields including academia and lawyers. 

They also reflect on the theme of Democracy -A Recipe For Peace And Development.

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