National Assembly Members in The Gambia have undergone some rigorous training to equip them with the skills to critically analyse and scrutinize the annual budget estimates of the government as well as on how to examine the core policy strategies and development objectives of the government vis-à-vis the budget.
The training was recently organised by the Pro-Poor Advocacy Group with the financial support of the United Nations Development Programme in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) under the Institutional Support for Economic and Financial Governance project.
|Speaker Abdoulie Bojang|
The two-day workshop was held to ensure the country’s lawmakers make informed decisions on the allocation of resources for the social priority sectors; to enable them to assess the adequacy or otherwise of the levels of funding provided for the social priority sectors to meet the Millennium Development Goals and Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) - the Gambia government’s development blueprint; to identify the funding shortfalls thereto; and to discuss strategies and sector proposals for resource mobilisation.
Speaking on the occasion, Speaker of the National Assembly Abdoulie Bojang said the training was necessary to equip parliamentarians to put due emphasis on the rationale behind the policy strategies and goals of government.
“As elective representatives of the people, we are inclined to put emphasis into the social priority sectors of health, education and agriculture without necessarily limiting ourselves to only these sectors, as all other sectors and cross-cutting issues are equally important,” he said.
“The bottom line is that we must concentrate on the aggregates and the overall national interest,” he added.
The conclave includes other presentations like the state of the Gambian economy: challenges and perspectives for growth; together with detailed policy analysis of key priority.
The event has enabled National Assembly Members to consider and approve the national budget based on the Millennium Development Goals, the PAGE, and Vision 2020.