AU concludes training of trainers for citizen election observers

Mamos Media

By Cherno Omar Bobb

A five-day citizen election observation training of trainers workshop organised by the African Union Commission’s Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security in partnership with the Government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Youth and Sports and hosted by the National Youth Council concluded last Friday at Kalimba Beach Resort.

The training for youth was held ahead of the Gambia’s December 4th presidential elections.

Robert Gerenge, principal adviser to election management bodies at the African Union Commission speaking at the closing ceremony said investing in young people has long lasting and long term dividend.

He added that they hope participants will use the skills and knowledge acquired to contribute to the electoral integrity of the country but also to the democracy and development of the country.

He pointed out that the continent has a lot of experience, adding that, “we have a lot to learn from each other.”

Bakary Y. Badjie, Minister of Youth and Sports said youth political participation is very important not just being followers and supporters of politicians but by being active politicians.

Minister Badjie added that the training could not have come at a better time than now that The Gambia will be holding presidential elections on December 4th this year which will be followed by parliamentary elections in April 2022.

He expressed the hope that the participants will utilize the knowledge and skills gained by monitoring the electoral processes to ensure it takes place in a manner that is in line with the laws of the country.

He assured that The Gambia Government under President Barrow is committed to ensure free, fair, peaceful and transparent elections come December.

According to him, since the advent of the new government emphasis has been laid on the participation of young people in national development including the political processes.

He further said that it is his believe that young people will be able to participate in the political processes of the country beyond voting.

 Badjie highlighted that it is our responsibility to maintain decorum as we head for the December elections, saying the country belongs to all of us and whatever we do we must ensure peace for those who come after us as peace is expensive and we must never play it down.     

Sanaba Jawla, in delivering the vote of thanks on behalf of participants thanked facilitators of the training. He assured them that the knowledge gained will be utilized to ensure The Gambia have credible elections this year.

He pointed out that the greatest investment any institution or country can do is invest in education as well as the advancement of youth and women.

COB/DAJ/9/11/21

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