The Programme Director of The Association of Non-governmental Organizations (TANGO) has dispelled the notion that “Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are anti-government.” Rather, Madi Jobarteh said CSOs are here to complement government’s development efforts.
Mr. Jobarteh said the role of CSOs includes generating the social basis of democracy and promote accountability beyond party politics.
“CSOs serve as counter-balance between market and state to make both of them feel and see the interest and welfare of the Society,” Jobarteh, a guest of the Global Day of Citizen Action celebration in Fajara, said. The celebration was organized by Conscience International. Funded by CIVICUS International, the event brought together civil society organizations to discus, share ideas and experiences about their work.
The human rights campaigner said “civil society groups produce trust, reciprocity and networks, create and promote alternatives through collective action, support the rights of citizens and the concept of citizenship.”
He said CSOs can serve as the conscience of a nation, the power of the people and vehicle of development, especially where the market is too selfish and the state is overwhelmingly corrupt and inefficient.
The Director of Conscience International said every CSO has a responsibility to the nation. Shaka Ceesay said the onus lies on them to have a sense of responsibility, have their facts right and conduct research on issues they are involved in.
A child rights activist used the event to call for the need to do-away with challenges being faced by policymakers when it comes to child rights issues. Michael Davis said since protecting the rights of children it is therefore imperative to sensitize traditional leaders on the importance of the issue.