By Buba Gagigo
The Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) has awarded an NGO, TOSTAN International The Gambia, as the taxpayer of the year 2021 in Upper River Region (URR).
The award giving ceremony attended by President Adama Barrow was held at a local hotel in Senegambia.
“This award winner (TOSTAN) has a vision to empower local communities to ease their access to education, health and social other economic benefits. The taxpayer is awarded for the timely filing and payment of taxes in the region. The winner of URR tax payer of the year is TOSTAN international Gambia,” GRA announced
The National Coordinator of TOSTAN Gambia, Edrisa Keita thanked the organizers and assured their continued tax compliance.
“Indeed, it is with great pleasure and humility that TOSTAN international The Gambia received this prestigious award. This is indeed (an) opportune moment for TOSTAN to say we will still tighten our belts, strengthen our strategy, (and) widen our scope of work towards empowerment for the communities in the Gambia towards sustainable development. Equally, we are also very much cognizant of the law, policies, programmes and aspirations of the Gambia government. As an organization, (we) did not just don’t downplay our obligations in any area, especially our tax compliance because when people pay tax, it contributes to national development,” Edrisa Keita said.
TOSTAN began implementing their Community Empowerment Programme (CEP) in The Gambia in 2007, and are currently running the programme in 30 communities in the Upper River Region (URR). In 2018, Community Management Committees (CMCs) in The Gambia organized 600 community clean-up days and ensured birth registration of 644 children. Furthermore, 378 children were enrolled in school thanks to the efforts of the CMCs, and 265 women were selected for local leadership positions. In 2018-2019, Tostan is implementing the Peace and Security module in 10 communities, through the ‘USAID Unaam Kayraay’ Project with USAID and Partners Global. In 2018, Peace Committees helped to resolve 57 conflicts at the community level.