The National Assembly Members on 14th of December, 2020 approved 22, 220,327,779 Dalasi for the year 1st January to 31st December, 2021 with a budget deficit of six billion following the Minister of Finance’s budget speech and the National Assembly Members’ debate on its estimates. The approved budget is expected to be sourced through revenues collected, grants and loans. Considering that the main beneficiaries of this budget will be citizens, it is prudent that they are informed about what the national budget entails and encourage them to participate in the budget process. It is equally important that citizens are abreast on how public money is managed, especially on how the government will source the money and how it intends on spending it.
Gambia Participates embarked on an open day nationwide community engagement activity between National Assembly Members, relevant Government sectorial departments and constituent members aimed at communicating relevant public finance information specifically the 2021 approved budget and development objectives of the Government of The Gambia to citizens. A total of seven National Assembly Members and one government official from the Ministry of Health were engaged across the seven regions of the Gambia.
The main purpose of this engagement is to raise awareness around the 2021 budget in order to create an open and inclusive budget process required for citizens to participate in future budget processes thus empowering them with the requisite knowledge to hold the Government accountable.
Two Hundred and Ninety (290) people were engaged in Eighty-six (86) communities in a space of five days. The communities visited were Sabach Sanjal in the North Bank Region, Buduk in the Central River Region- North, Bwiam in the West Coast Region, Niamina West in Central River Region – South and Buiba Jallow Kunda in the Lower River Region.
On Wednesday the 23rd December, 2020, GP also engaged two extra NAMs from within the Greater Banjul Area at the Faculty of Law, University of the Gambia. The Hon. Member of Serekunda Central, Hon. Halifa Sallah and Fatoumata Njie of Banjul South. One Hundred (100) participants from Banjul and the Kanifing Municipality Area attended the engagement.
Aja Sirreh Touray: CSO Liaison Officer, Gambia Participates