EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, THE GAMBIA: Beakanyang Kafo, a youth-led civil organization in partnership with Gambia Participate with support from the International Republican Institute (IRI) Friday engaged National Assembly members, Government and Civil Society Organizations in a breakfast meeting to have a pre-budget dialogue of the 2018 national budget. The objective of the dialogue is to create an understanding among Gambians and members of parliament about areas government should prioritize in the drafting of the national budget.
Speaking at the opening of the program the Executive Director of Beakanyang Kafo Nfamara Jawneh said the meeting seeks to lobby national Assembly members to see how they can prioritize the needs of the Gambian people. He said many Gambians still hold the belief that the budget in most cases does not reflect their needs and wishes.
“What we want is to be engage in the budget process as CSOs and as Gambians in general so that we take the engagement to another level; so by the time you (Members of parliament) will go back to the Assembly to debate on this budget, the priorities of the Gambian people, the poor man in the village will be captured in the budget irrespective of where you live”. Jawneh explained.
Founder of Gambia Participates Mr. Marr Nyang said the budget is the second most important document after the constitution, and it is a right for every concern Gambian to know what is in the budget. “We need to help the government especially the ministry of finance on the budget”.
Nyang went on explaining that, Gambia Participate also run another project called “Follow the Money”. This project he said is aimed at following the money that government spends where it is spent and why it is spent.
Sainey Touray National Assembly Member for Jarra East constituency deputizing for the deputy speaker of the National Assembly at the meeting described the gathering as timely. He expressed profound gratitude to the organizers for conducting such meetings. “Come Tuesday, we are going to have the budget scrutinize”.