WFD is working in collaboration with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK (CPA UK) to support The Gambia’s National Assembly.
In December 2016, the opposition candidate, Adama Barrow, unexpectedly won in The Gambia Presidential elections. Barrow’s electoral success ended the long-term incumbent Yahya Jammeh’s 22 year rule, leading to a renewed enthusiasm for democratic processes in the country. Subsequent parliamentary elections on 6 April 2017 witnessed over 90% of new Members entering the National Assembly and a new parliamentary majority. Following such transition, there are high public expectations for the new National Assembly.
WFD’s engagement began with an analysis of the outgoing parliament in March 2017, followed by a joint WFD – CPA UK assessment mission in the context of the new National Assembly. Among the urgent needs identified was support for the new National Assembly Members (NAMs) and a need to ‘bring parliament to the people.’ WFD and CPA UK organised an induction for new NAMs utilising the expertise of MPs from the Westminster Parliament and local experts. With over 90% of new NAMs, supporting them to understand their role is critical so as to enable NAMs to ensure change in line with citizens’ expectations.
WFD is also supporting the digitalisation of the National Assembly’s Hansard function to ensure the timely publication of Hansard. Drawing on the success of WFD’s work in Sierra Leone, this has involved support from the Parliament of the Isle of Man (Tynwald)’s Hansard team as well as from the WFD-trained Hansard department of the Parliament of Sierra Leone. This work will enable the National Assembly to better communicate its work to both MPs and citizens.
Building on the successful partnership with the parliament of the Isle of Man (Tynwald) – which led to a drastic reduction in the time it takes for Parliament of Sierra Leone to publish transcripts of sittings – WFD is now working to improve the capabilities of the research department to support legislators produce better laws.
- First phase of Hansard team training completed and digital transformation begun.
- 53 directly elected and 5 appointed NAMs benefit from induction.
Strengthening the National Assembly of The Gambia
Planned end: March 2019