By Edrissa Jallow, @EdrissaJallow10
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Mandisa Mashologu on Tuesday 31st October 2023 unveiled action plans for a nine million euros (€9 Million) project dubbed “The Gambia’s Responsive & Accountable Transition Project, known as the “GREAT” Project”.
The unveiling occurred at Coco Ocean Hotel in Bijilo where government officials, the Media, and CSOs converged.
It can be recalled that on Friday 12th May 2023, the project was announced by EU Ambassador Pampaloni during the National Stakeholder Conference centring on the implementation plan of the TRRC recommendation, which took place at the Sir Dawda Jawara International Conference Center.
Speaking to delegates at Coco Ocean, UNDP Resident Representative, Mandisa Mashologu explained that “the GREAT Project, funded by the European Union and facilitated by UNDP, is not just a vision; it is a concrete and ambitious endeavour. With a budget of 9 million Euros, it serves as a testament to our collective dedication to fostering responsive and accountable governance in this nation”.
She adds that the project will “address these challenges head-on, with three key objectives: 1. Constitutional and Legislative Reform, 2. Transitional Justice and Rule of Law [and] 3. Strengthening Local Governance”.
According to her, the success of the brand initiative will “require the collective efforts of all stakeholders, from government institutions to civil society, the private sector, and the media” as “it is a testament to the power of collaboration, determination, and a shared vision for a more transparent, accountable, and responsive democratic system”.
During the question and answer sessions, our reporter questioned to find out the duration of the overall project. In response, the Deputy UNDP Resident Representative, Nana Chinbuah highlighted that “the duration [for the project] is forty-one months” and “it started August 2023”. This means that the project is expected to last until December 2026, when citizens will head to the polls to elect its President.
A presentation paper given to the media reveals that the contributions are as follows; the EU contributed nine million, two hundred and forty-four thousand and two hundred dollars (US$9,244,200) while UNDP contributed an amount of four hundred thousand dollars (US$400,00) totalling ten million, two hundred and forty-four thousand and two hundred dollars (US$10, 244,200).
Solicitor General: The EU GREAT Project it’s not just about words on paper or promises made
Solicitor General, Louis Thomasi representing the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice Dawda Jallow informed the audience that the project is not a promise but a change to the nation.
“Let us remember that the EU GREAT Project is not just about words on paper or promises made but also about tangible positive changes we bring to bear to the lives of our fellow citizens and together we can all navigate the path to a greater Gambia,” Solicitor General highlights.
The solicitor general extended a message from Minister Jallow noting that the 3 year and five-month project “is more than just an initiative, it is a testament to our unwavering dedication to Building a Gambia where democracy flourishes, justice prevails and the rights of every citizen upheld”.
In a bid to win stakeholder support Attorney General Thomasi “assure[d] — all development partners of the Government’s commitment to these principles”.