7 July 2023, Banjul, The Gambia: The European Union and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA), officially launched a new joint project under the title “EU support to the Consolidation of Democratic Dispensation in the Gambia (CODE)”. Funded by the European Union and implemented by International IDEA for a duration of 3 years, this project aims to provide technical assistance to key democratic institutions namely: the National Assembly, the National Human Rights Commission, and the Gambia Press Union;.
The overall project is to further strengthen the foundations of an inclusive, participatory, gender sensitive and peaceful democratic governance in the Gambia. The will entail various interventions such as trainings, advisory services to institutions, comparative knowledge generation and dissemination of a Political Economy Analysis of the Media Landscape before the resumption of Constitutional Reform Process, the Code of Conduct on Ethical Journalism, the Code of Conduct for Parliamentarians, Human Rights Manuals, the Report of the Universal Periodic Review of the Gambia, as well as the Policy to prevent sexual harassment and exploitation in media landscape in the Gambia.
In his intervention, Ambassador Corrado Pampaloni underlined that: “Democracy is never to be taken for granted, nor fully accomplished”, adding that: “In a time of trouble, where populist and antidemocratic forces gain traction around the world, including on the European continent, we are constantly reminded the need to be both modest and ambitious. Modest, because democracy is fragile and is never set in stone. Our efforts have to be consistent and constantly renewed. Ambitious, because democracy is the only political system that ensures that the citizens’ voice are heard, that leaders, who will represent the majority of their population, get elected in a free, fair and transparent fashion.”
Roba Sharamo, Africa and West Asia Regional Director of International IDEA said: “The CODE project supported by EU that we are officially launching today is therefore a continuation of IDEA/s strong commitment to provide its neutral and non-prescriptive technical assistance to the Transitional process in the Gambia”.
The CODE project will also complement the various ongoing initiatives that support the consolidation of democratic dispensation in the Gambia conducted or supported by other international partners.
The official launch was attended by several guests including Hon. Fabakary Jatta, Speaker of the Gambia National Assembly, Emmanuel Daniel Joof, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Muhammed Bah, President of Gambia Press Union, the EU Ambassador to the Gambia H.E. Pampaloni, Roba Sharamo, Africa and West Asia Regional Director of International IDEA, and representatives from the Attorney General Office and the ministry of Justice, the United Nations Development Programme UNDP, the United Nations in the Gambia, as well as members of diplomatic corps, Gambian Civil Society Organizations.
During the launch, the project partners made a strong commitment towards implementing the project and contribute to the consolidation of democratic dispensation in The Gambia.