The Association of Non-Governmental Organizations Civil Society National Press Conference

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PUBLIC STATEMENT 15 January 2018

The Association of NGOs in the Gambia (TANGO) will convene a major national press conference of
stakeholders in the Non-State Sector on Friday 19th January 2018 at the TANGO conference Hall at 10am.
The press conference coincides with the first anniversary of the Barrow Administration and the end of 22
years of brutal dictatorship in the country. The purpose of the press conference is to mark the resurgence of
the Gambian civil society to more effectively engage in the building of the New Gambia. It seeks to set the
stage for a more informed and principled partnership with the Gambia Government in furtherance of the
objectives of the democratic change to which the Coalition Government has dedicated itself.

The press conference is premised on the theme ‘The Gambia We Want’ to further express the decision and
desire of the people of the Gambia at the polls on 1st December 2016 – a democratic dispensation firmly
rooted in good governance and a vehicle for sustainable development. TANGO holds that it is the business
of all citizens to actively and effectively participate in the making of the New Gambia. To this end, TANGO
will launch series of national conversations on the theme ‘The Gambia We Want’ to enable citizens to
determine the destiny of their country.

This theme ‘The Gambia We Want’ aims to kick-start or instigate national conversations around the question
of what kind of the Gambia we desire. It is to encourage active citizen participation in governance, empower
citizens to hold the state accountable and make citizens understand their rights and responsibilities. Good and
responsible leadership, active citizenship and respect and adherence to the tenets of good governance are sine
qua non for the new society we want to build.

Hence moving forward TANGO holds that if the Gambia is not to repeat the ignominious past, citizens will
have to create platforms for discussion on the kind of Gambia they want. In this way citizens will therefore
realize their power that the sovereignty of the Gambia resides in the people and it is from the people that the
state derives its legitimacy and that the state functions only to serve the people.

The country faces major processes at this moment such as constitution building, transitional justice and legal
and institutional reforms. These processes demand that citizens become active participants in order to ensure
their credibility, legitimacy and accountability. It is when citizens got involved in such nation building
processes that the country would be able to produce institutions, leaders and a political dispensation that is
transparent, effective and responsive to the needs of the people.

TANGO therefore calls on all Gambians to reposition and reorient ourselves from being that erstwhile
politically dormant and inactive citizens to becoming a new vigilant and active citizen who ensures that the
government responds to the needs of the country in line with the rule of law and the deepest aspirations of
the people.

TANGO hereby invites all people living in The Gambia to the Civil Society National Press Conference as
we embark on taking that step in the journey towards building the New Gambia.
Welcome All.

TANGO Office: PMB 392, Serrekunda The Gambia
Tel: (220) 4390525 Fax: (220) 4390521 E-Mail: info@tangogambia.org
Website: www.tangogambia.org

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