Executive Summary

Since July 1994, The Gambia has witnessed one of the most dramatic human rights abuses seen in recent history in Africa. The Political process has been a one side dominance characterized by a complete violation of human rights of Gambians, stifling of political decent, a monopoly of governance institutions and processes. This; in many documented cases by numerous international human rights institutions, has been characterized by disappearance of human rights activist; leading to high increases in Gambians abroad as political refugees and a form of political impunity that has destroyed the democratic institutions in the country. There have been documented cases of media crackdown and a complete control of the state media with only one national television that is focused principally on political propaganda for the state. There is no active civic education system to raise political consciousness of Gambians and the only Institution responsible for civic education has been utterly politicized by the current dictatorial regime.

These and many situations have led to a paucity of information for Gambians both at home and in the diaspora. The Senegambia Democracy and Governance Organization is an initiative dedicated for democratic reform in the Gambia in order to institutionalize transparent, human rights-focused institutions that will facilitate the recognition of the rights and dignity of all Gambians both home and abroad through a comprehensive civic empowerment process that will lead to political reform; and an overhaul of the current dictatorial system of governance.

However, political reform within the Gambian contexts requires a comprehensive approach that facilitates mass social mobilizations and an empowerment process that also focuses on support for women and young people. This is geared towards liberating them from the web of political control and manipulation of the current dictatorial regime. This initiative will also dedicate efforts toward the economic empowerment of Gambian women, a comprehensive program to support their health and wellbeing, and a literacy program that will facilitate a sustained empowerment to liberate them from political abuse.

As a new initiative, there is a growing call by Gambians abroad for a massive mobilization overseas to engage Gambians in political dialogue and building a critical mass of advocates from individual household heads, mothers and fathers, influential leaders, young people, and across a broad spectrum of Gambian professionals living abroad to engage their families at home for consensus building in ending more than twenty years of political murkiness.

The organization have started partnering with media houses and institutions in neighboring Senegal and various places abroad to champion this course and to provide an alternative platform for Gambians to have access to information and to engage in political dialogue.

This strategy plan (2015-2018) is a three year plan that will be subjected to series of reviews to suit the changing political trends in the Gambia. It is a first initiative that has an overwhelming political support to bring about the desired political, social, economic and human rights reform urgently needed in the Gambia.

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