By Muhammed L Bojang
The Brikama Area Council on Monday launched its official toll-free number during its first edition of the Annual Stakeholder’s Conference held at Kairaba Beach Hotel.
With its mandate under section 48 of the Local Government Act, 2002 to provide the needs and welfare of the inhabitants of the area, the Brikama Area Council staged its first stakeholder’s conference with the theme; “Building a responsive, open and proactive council” to enhance the quality of life and the social cohesion of the inhabitants of the West Coast Region by embracing the best practices of good governance, socio-economic justice and citizen-focused service delivery and the vision to become a vibrant and environment-friendly council that provides the right conditions for the effective involvement of various actors in the economic and social life of the region.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of the Brikama Area Council, Sheriffo Sonko expressed his delight for the gathering and indicated the importance attached to enhancing effective engagement.
“We are deeply convinced that stakeholder engagement is undoubtedly a key to attaining our vision to be the vibrant and environment-friendly council that provides the right conditions for effective involvement of various actors in the economic and social life of the region, a mission to enhance the quality of life and the social cohesion of the inhabitants of the West Coast Region by embracing the best practices of good governance, socio-economic justice and citizen-focused service delivery,” he remarked.
In his intervention, the Chief Executive Officer of the Council, Modou Jonga described the occasion as historic, and a huge privilege for them to hold such an extensive engagement with their diverse stakeholders.
“To us, every voice counts and this event manifests our bold commitment to public service delivery, principles of accountability and transparency and our resolve to uphold and sustain the principles of grass-root democracy.
“It is our strong expectation that this inclusive dialogue with the stakeholders will give us a unique platform to better identify joint solutions and opportunities to building a council that is responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people,” he remarked.
The CEO further highlighted that the objectives of the stakeholder’s engagement were to build strategic partnerships and relationships towards the attainment of seven strategic goals, which he listed as waste collection, management and sanitation, provision/extension of water and electricity, road infrastructure development, support to boosting economic and social activity, environment and climate change mitigation and adaptation and enhancing revenue collection and administration efficiency, as well as to maximise opportunities for building a responsive and vibrant council.
“Development is multi-dimensional and requires a deliberate effort, individually and collectively, on the part of every one of us. There is great potential to make this region more advanced and we wish to assure our stakeholders that there are no limits in our commitment to building a model and responsive public service provider,” Mr Jonga said.
Mr Jonga also thanked the Programme Coordinator of the UNDP Economic Management Programme and his team for their commitment and dedication for realising the hosting of this maiden stakeholders dialogue and other relevant stakeholders and dignitaries present.
Addressing the forum, the Governor of the West Coast Region, Lamin Sanneh underlined the factors of good governance, effective and efficient service delivery and citizen engagement, open and transparent in realistic meaning execution duties and responsibilities. He said the West Coast Region is the largest and most densely populated region in the country and there is no better time than now to put heads together to maximise the resources and potentials within the region for effective and efficient development goals and the stakeholders’ engagement will give rise to public trust and confidence in the administration.