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Creating Spaces for Faith-Based Organisations to Contribute to Peace Building Processes in The Gambia

On 21 December 2019, the Assembly of Gambian Muslim Youths (AGAMY) held a seminar on the theme “Peace Building for Sustainable Development” at the Doha Hal in Kanifing. This activity supported by UNFPA The Gambia was inspired by the current political reality of The Gambia which brings forth the need to identify key conflict drivers and peace engines in The Gambia and how all stakeholders especially young people, can play vital roles in peacebuilding processes.

The seminar brought together50 participants from different political parties, Civil Society Organizations, the media, religious and youth organisations, among others.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr. Ousman Gaku, President of AGAMY highlighted the need for such occasion under the prevailing circumstances in the country, citing the importance of creating spaces for dialogue and mutual understanding, for the common good.

Representing UNFPA The Gambia Mr. Alieu Jammeh, Program Analyst Reproductive Health Community Security (RHCS) presided over the opening ceremony and shared the delight of the country office to support such a timely activity. He emphasised the importance of youth in the development of the country and more so the attainment of sustainable peace across The Gambia.

“Young people should not be neglected but included in problem solving drives as they constitute 65% of The Gambia’s population. For us at UNFPA, we attach great importance to investing in youth as a pre-requisite to realising their individual potentials.”

According to Mr. Gibril Ngorr Secka, Director of Security at the Ministry of Interior “Religion is a formidable tool in peacebuilding.”   

The seminar featured discussion on various topics including Early Warning, Conflict Prevention, the Role of Religious Groups in Peacebuilding, among others. It ended with brainstorming on the way forward as far as attaining sustainable peace in The Gambia is concerned.