The Gambia Press Union (GPU) together the civil society coalition on
access to information Thursday, September 10th 2020, concluded a daylong
virtual workshop to review and adopt standardised messages on access to
The messages were developed by Mansafing and Stellar consultancies for the GPU.
The review workshop was attended by 15 stakeholders, mainly comprising GPU board members and secretariat staff as well as members of the civil society coalition on ATI.
The message development and the review were fully funded through a support by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Lamin Jahateh, GPU Program Manager, gave the opening remarks. Jahateh updated the stakeholders on the status of the Bill, which he said is waiting to be passed at the National Assembly. Thus, the need for stakeholders to utilize some of the key messages developed as advocacy tools to sensitize their constituencies.
Junkung Jobarteh presented the policy on behalf of the consultants, while explaining the methodology used to develop the messages and the stakeholders targeted during the process.
According to Jobarteh, their assignment was to develop strong messages in other to educate the stakeholders about Access to Information and also encourage them to help fight for the bill to be passed at the National Assembly.
Mr. Jobarteh emphasized on the need for sustained engagement with the general public since every region has a representative at the National Assembly. He added that television appearances, radio shows, WhatsApp audios in all local languages and community engagements would go a long way in the sensitization process.
The vote of thanks was delivered by Kebba Jeffang. He urged the stakeholders to continue supporting the bill to ensure that it is passed by the National Assembly because ATI is not just for journalists but for every citizen.
“We cannot hold public officials accountable when we can’t have Access to Information,” he affirmed.