“The Gambia is only successful when there is unity among the people, regardless of religious beliefs, Tribal belonging and political ideologies.

My Leadership can deliver this for a prosperous Gambia as shown in GDC’S diversity, youth empowerment and meeting all the factors for a better Gambia”.

CONTENTS

Foreword by Hon. Mamma Kandeh

Party Leader and Secretary General of the Gambia Democratic Congress     3-4

Manifesto Pledges  05

The Gambia Democratic Party Congress Political Philosophy 06

  1. AN ECONOMIC PLAN THAT HELP GAMBIAN FAMILIES 7 – 10

Rebuilding a strong economy to help Gambian families                                    

Improving our road network and modern communications                     

  1. CREATING JOBS FOR ALL GAMBIANS 11 – 14

Job creation schemes

  1. IMPROVING SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS 15 – 16

Giving Gambian children the best start in life                                                     

Improving our National Healthcare Sector                                                 

Making The Gambia Government at the service of its citizens                         

  1. SECURING A DECENT LIVING FOR GAMBIANS 17

Helping Gambians own a home                                                                    

Enhancing and protecting natural resources and the environment                           

Improving clean, affordable, secure energy supplies                                          

Fighting crime and standing up for victims                                                

Preventing terrorism and countering extremism                                                 

Dignity in retirement of our public officers and seniors                                               

  1. KEEPING THE GAMBIA SAFE AND SECURE 18-20

Promote national reconciliation and peaceful co-existence                                

A stronger Gambian voice on the world stage                                                      

Tackling global challenges to make The Gambia safe and prosperous

CONCLUSION 21

Foreword

I Mamma Kandeh Party leaders and Secretary of the GDC, hails from Sareh Birom in Jimara Constituency in the Upper River Region of the Gambia. Aged 51 educated in the Gambia and served in the National Assembly from 2002 to 2012 as a representative of Jimara. During this tenure also served as a member and Vice President of the African Parliament.

The Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) produced this Party Manifesto which outlines its national development and governance programme for the Republic of the Gambia, if elected in December 2016.

A GDC Government will implement a political and socioeconomic development programme that places Gambians at the heart of governance and Policy making – hence our slogan: One Gambia, one people. This will ensure the attainment of human dignity and liberty in the national development agenda.

The Gambia attained independence on 18th February 1965 and became a Republic on 24th April 1971. Ever since, peaceful elections have been taken place through democratic means, until 22nd  July 1994, the military take over and one party dominant thereafter. As a result, lack of genuine democracy, which a GDC administration will address through reforming democratic institutions to entrench multi-party democracy in our country.

Our economic prosperity has not reached to our potential during our 5-decade sovereignty. The country is among the highly indebted poor countries in the world. Our economic deficit and national debt is accumulating on a daily basis mainly due misplaced economic policies and priorities.

A GDC government will ensure that The Gambia realises its potential to be the fastest growing economy in our sub-region and beyond, mainly, due to our size and proximity to the outside world. We will get our national finances under control and reassign resources to our priority needs. Difficult decisions will be taken to cut waste in the public sector, so together, we will prepare our country on a path of long-term economic prosperity and security.

Our government will create a dynamic and vibrant environment that will uplift the political and socioeconomic development of the country through the implementation of a better agenda for the common good. We will embark on an economic agenda that will restore the confidence of not only our traditional partners but will encourage Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of both indigenous Gambian and foreign investors.

We are proud of our armed and security services for their continued loyalty and dedication to duty by ensuring that our country is safe and secure. Their role will be strengthened by a GDC government to ensure that they realise their maximum potential to enable them face the challenges that lies ahead in this increasingly challenging globalised world.

GDC believes that in order that better democracy is instituted in the governance system in our country, there has to be limitable tenure in the office of the President. A GDC reform programme will ensure that no individual remains in office for more than two terms of five years. This will ensure the establishment of succession plans in our national body politics.

The principal questions for the December 2016 election are: How do we create a prosperous and viable economy that benefits all; how do we emancipate ourselves from the misrule of the APRC government; how do we reform our socio-economic institutions that will strengthen us as a nation; how do we co-exist peacefully and in a dignified way; how do we make sure that our future generations have very good start in life and the benefits of all of these are realised in every citizen’s life?

This manifesto sets out our plans to answer these and many other questions. We offer a plan for a better future for every citizen and their families. It’s a plan that sets across every stage of one’s life. For example, a newly-born baby will be attended to by well trained professionals and receive excellent medical care. The child will grow to attend very good educational facilities. When the child finishes education, they will go onto secure a job of their choice and build a career to serve in the best interest of our Nation.  When this young man grows into old age and retires, there will be an excellent facility to offer dignity in retirement. This way, the GDC policies will be presented in all stages of everybody’s life.

Now, it’s more urgent than ever to unite as a country, including other political parties to take back our country from the APRC government in a peaceful and democratic way. This Manifesto and its programme of action is our plan to move the country to the next inch.

I hope and trust that the Gambian people will give it their support, so that together, we can build a more prosperous, democratic and secure country which we all aspire to live in.

Hon. Mamma  Kandeh

GDC Party Leader and Secretary General

The Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) Manifesto Pledges

The GDC Party is committed to making these solemn pledges to Gambians that when we secure power in December 2016, we will separate government, religion from politics. In particular, we will deliver the following:

  1. A better and equipped health services in the country with sufficient medical care facilities, drugs and trained Doctors, Nurses and support staff.
  1. A trained and qualified teaching staff in all learning facilities in the country; with a priority for Primary and early years’ education with an aim to ensure best start in life.
  1. We will reform the Office of the President of the Republic of the Gambia to not more than two terms per person. The GDC hereby suggest a 5-year term in line with international standards to be approved at a referendum.
  1. We will reform the judiciary, civil service and local administration to make them linear and focused; ensure that that they serve the Gambia’s national interest and all employment to be based on merit.
  1. We will reform the Independent Electoral Commission and electoral laws to meet international standards of best practice.
  1. We will embark on job creation programmes, especially for young people in particular to halt the flow of “Back-Way” syndrome, control rural urban migration and economic empowerment, prosperity and economic security.
  1. We will ensure job security for all workers in The Gambia, make work pay and improve on tax collection to invest in our public services.
  1. We will promote young people securing their economic freedom by owning their own homes, thereby forcing the private rents down.
  1. We will promote national unity, reconciliation and peaceful co-existence among Gambians.
  1. We will ensure that Social Security live up to its corporate responsibilities of supporting workers in retirement.

A GDC government will secure a better and prosperous future for all Gambians and separate Partisan Political activities from the Government of the Republic of the Gambia.

Our Political Party Philosophy

The GDC is a Social Democratic Political Party that believes in the egalitarian treatment of all persons irrespective of their ethnic, social, cultural, educational, political, religious and economic differences in a multi-party environment.

The GDC, in respect of universal democratic principles, devotes to the dynamics of change. In this regard, the Party exists as an agent of change whose political and socio-economic development agenda includes rotation in the tenure of leadership in national governance thus providing the opportunity for all leadership aspirants both within the Party and national leadership.

The GDC Political Party cherishes rotation in state leadership; believes in popular participatory initiatives in the dispensations of political and socio-economic development agenda; mass participation as catalyst for meaningful national development; teamwork as an essential for national governance.

GDC call for a Unity government to ensure all the parties have a merited work to do in the GDC Led Government without discrimination or fear of persecution. The GDC will explore the potentials of all Gambians at home and abroad for a rapid and smooth national development. Devolve powers to the Local Authorities with a reformed local government by engaging the Alkalos and religious leaders in public affairs to develop communities and empower women.

Having been inspired by these believes, the GDC is hereby established as a national Political Party and cordially invites all peoples in its dispensation for a better and prosperous Gambia. 

01: AN ECONOMIC PLAN THAT HELP GAMBIAN FAMILIES

Agenda 32: National Security

GDC Government shall strive to improve the national security system so as to establish a modest armed and other service forces. In this regard the security forces of the nation shall be restructured to reflect on the security needs of the nation.

In the bid to modify the security services the defensive security such as the armed forces and its sister defence forces shall be required to mobilise within the defensive zones of the nation so as to allow the protective security such as the police and its sister protective force units to mobilise within the protective zones of the nation. Thus the security service roles can be effectively coordinated for the common good.

GDC Government shall endeavour to establish a modest national security system that shall rationally reflect on the security needs of the nation as well as enhance sustainable efficient and effective national security.

Agenda 09: General Agriculture

GDC Government shall strive to develop the agricultural sector of the nation through investment into indigenous, industrial as well as commercial agricultural production and productivity among others.

Investment into indigenous agriculture shall consist of cultivation of crops, vegetables and plants largely for food and consumption purposes. At such level people shall be supported to cultivate local crops and vegetables for increasing production in a more sustainable way as well as promote the large scale cultivation of fruit trees especially underutilised indigenous trees such as coconuts, guava, date, among others.

Investment into industrial agriculture shall consist of mechanised cultivation and farming through the use of modern technology such as mechanical equipment, machines and animals. This type of agriculture shall be applied largely for business purposes whereby products shall be sold both nationally and for export as well as for food processing and manufacturing. Industrial agriculture shall be the agricultural productive sector that shall be greatly promoted to boost the agro-economic sector of the nation. In this regard, industrial agriculture shall entail large scale crops and vegetables production, livestock production, beekeeping and honey making, edible fruits, among others.

Investment into commercial agriculture shall consist of providing maximum support to industrial agriculture through the creation of large scale marketing opportunities. Commercial agriculture shall consist of the agro-business sector of the nation. In this regard agro products buying centres shall be established throughout the nation and these products shall be processed in the industrial sector such as factories, plants and stores among others.

As employment creation initiative GDC Government shall encourage the youths in the rural/provincial regions across the nation to engage in the industrial and commercial agriculture through support in providing adequate farm lands, crop and plant seeds and fertilizer as well as creation of marketing facilities among others. The youths within the urban areas shall be directly employed to work in the agro-industrial sectors such as in factories, plants and stores.

GDC Government shall endeavour to invest in agriculture to become all year around national economic development initiatives through the utilisation of the long river for irrigation as well as the enhancement of large scale agricultural production through the provision of sustainable material, technical and human resources support initiatives.

Agenda 19: National Income and Finance Development

GDC Government shall strive to greatly improve on the status of the national income as well as reorganise the finance development system. In this regard more means of generating the national income shall be created and the finance development system shall be revitalised.

In the bid to create more ways and means of generating the national income public service sectors shall be increased through the expansion of employment rate, liberalise commerce and trade by providing support initiatives to the small and medium scale entrepreneurs, offering motivation drives to the big business communities as well as promoting cross border trade among others.

In the bid to revitalise the national finance development system more prudent financial management policies and strategies shall be implemented through the application of sound monetary control systems such as encouraging comparative currency assimilation and monetary union with international currencies as well as providing support initiatives to financial institutions of all categories, among others

GDC Government shall endeavour to increase the national income as well as advance the financial status so as to enhance sustainable economic growth and development.

Agenda 20: National Income Tax and Taxation

GDC Government shall strive to reorganize the national income tax and taxation system so as to regulate and proper manage the national tax revenue. In this regard efficient income tax policies shall be implemented and the taxation system shall be modified.

In the bid to proper manage the national income tax system tax revenue shall be controlled by both central and regional government levels so as to ensure effective management as well as judicious utilization of tax revenues across the nation.

In the bid to improve the national taxation system taxation shall be enlarged so as to diversify the tax base in favour increasing tax.

GDC Government shall endeavour to provide an effective national income tax policies and systems that will ensure efficient management of the tax resources as well as enhance sustainable economic growth and development.

Agenda 06: Industrial Development

GDC Government shall strive to provide industrial infrastructure through the establishment of factories, confectioneries, firms as well as processing plants. In this regard, natural products such as fish, beef, fruits, crops and vegetables, dairy products, among others shall be processed both for local consumption, marketing and export.

In the bid to invest into industrial development factories and firms shall be established across the nation for the production of textiles, cosmetics and dresses as well as for manufacturing general wares such as corrugates, cement, timber, metal products, matches, candles, lamps, furniture, automobiles, electronics, tools and equipment, among others.

GDC Government shall endeavour to prioritize industrial development so as to boost the national economy through increased production and productivity as well as create more employment opportunities.

Agenda 11: Public Utilities, Procurement and Infrastructural Development

GDC Government shall strive to establish modern and technologically friendly national infrastructure. In this regard road networks shall be extended and modernized in a more sustainable way; transport and communication systems shall be reorganized and diversified to cater for all road users; sea ports and airports shall be expanded and modernized; telecommunication systems shall reorganized to be integrated into the global network, technology such as engineering and electronics shall be improved to become both high scale as well as broad-based; housing systems shall be reorganized to provide for accessibility to other physical infrastructures; water supply and electricity supply systems shall be reorganized and extended across the nation; hospitals, schools, markets, garages and parks as well as other public entities such as recreation centres and crèches shall be strategically and adequately provided during the establishment of housing schemes and road networks.

In the bid to extend and modernize road networks highway roads shall be constructed to cater for other road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and wheel chairs, among others. Highway support roads shall be constructed at strategic places so as to alleviate road congestion. All roads, especially highway roads must be constructed to provide for culverts so as to enhance the perennial life of the roads as well as proper sewage and drainage systems.

In the bid to provide a nationwide transport and communication system every town and village shall be accessible by motor able roads so as to enhance the availability of effective transport system. Radio and television networks shall be increasingly and widely privatized to allow for participation by all stakeholders within the nation so as to enhance an effective national and global coverage.

In the bid to expand and modernized the sea ports and airports the main seaport shall be extended ashore and be enlarged. As river transport shall be revitalized, all landing sites and wharfs along the river will be reconstructed and modified. A bridge shall be constructed between Banjul and Barra so as to expedite travelling to and from that part of the nation as well as enhance the expansion of the state capital city to the northern region. Airports shall be increased to decongest the main airport as well as mitigate the risk of encroaching on the residential areas within the proximity.

In the bid to integrate the telecommunication network within the global network all systems and infrastructures shall be connected to the global system so as to enhance an effective universal telecommunication network.

In the bid to intensify and broaden the technological sector engineering and electronics shall be institutionalized so as to encompass all fields for the enhancement of research, study as well as innovation.

In the bid to reorganize the housing system estate development agencies shall be tasked to provide for providing completed houses to the needy and Government shall provide the required collateral schemes for deserving people. In this regard estate developers shall oblige to consult with Government for providing proper public physical infrastructures such as markets, schools, health centres, vehicle garages as well as adequate street- roads networks within the estates.

In the bid to extend water and electricity supply across the nation tap water shall be provided nationwide and electricity shall be distributed throughout with interlinked service centres at strategic locations without hindrances due to national regional demarcations or distance. The geographic size of The Gambia can make nationwide water and electricity supply feasible.

GDC Government shall endeavour to provide a modernized and adequate national public infrastructure so as to enhance sustainable socio- economic growth and development.

Agenda 14: Fisheries; Aquaculture and Maritime Development

GDC Government shall strive to develop the fisheries and aquaculture sectors of the nation both for subsistence and as business enterprise. In this regard, fisheries, aquaculture and maritime development shall be reorganized so as to increase fishing, support the fisher folk, improve on the productivity sector such as processing, sales and marketing as well as the development and implementation of aquaculture projects such as fish and other sea food creatures breeding projects and educational initiatives.

In the bid to increase fishing training programs shall be provided for youths in fishing and resources such as gears as well as other essential materials will be made available to support the fisher folk of the nation. Fishing trawlers shall be provided for deep sea fishing, among others.

In the bid to improve on the productivity aspect of the fisheries sector fish processing plants shall be established for the manufacture of sea food which can be sold both locally and internationally as well as providing storage facilities for raw fish such as cold stores, for fish grilling and fish drying among others.

In the bid to develop the aquaculture sector fish and other sea food creatures such as lobsters, shrimps, oysters, turtles, and crabs breeding projects shall be implemented in strategic areas along the river across the nation. Other maritime initiatives shall consist of encouraging sport fishing as well as ship and boat building.

GDC Government shall greatly harness both the sea and river of so as to maximize fisheries production, aquaculture and maritime productivity, through increasing support in research, training, education and breeding, creation of more employment opportunities as well as enhance sustainable socio-economic growth and development.

Agenda 16: Press and Mass Media

GDC Government shall strive to institutionalize press and media so as to provide the enabling environment for the existence of liberal press and media. In this regard, stakeholders in information dissemination sector shall have free and uninterrupted access to public information issues as well as encourage authentic reporting.

In the bid to provide the enabling grounds for free press and media dispensation liberal access to public information issues, encouraging the existence of print and electronic media as well as supporting in the harnessing of press and media infrastructure such as facilitating access to data, material resources and equipment.

GDC Government shall endeavour to utilize press and media as an essential tool for public information and awareness creation as well as enhancing probity, accountability and transparency in government and public dispensations.

02: JOB CREATION FOR ALL GAMBIANS

Agenda 31: People Agenda – The Human Resource Base

GDC Government shall strive to empower the human resource base of the nation through capacity building such as training and education in preparation for the workforce. In this regard human development initiatives shall be provided for the empowerment of the people of the nation especially the younger generation and the youth folk.

In the bid to empower the human resource base of the nation support initiatives such as workforce education and training, livelihood skills training, professional training, further education, among others shall be provided for all categories of the human resource base of the nation as well as the creation of employment and self-help opportunities.

GDC Government shall endeavour to maximize empowerment of all people as the human resource base of the nation. As the greatest capital of a nation is its people it is imperative that create the required opportunities are created for them to enable them effectively contribute to nation building as well as readily engage into self- development initiatives as well as enhance sustainable national socio-economic growth and development.

Agenda 27: National Development Planning Services

GDC Government shall strive to establish effective national development planning services so as to enhance efficient and effective operations of the development sectors. In this regard proper planning strategies shall be developed for application in all sectors of national development.

In the bid to develop the planning services all government service sectors shall establish planning and policy units which shall serve as drawing board for the implementation of development programs as well as monitoring and evaluation systems within the service sectors. Thus the cross-departmental policy and planning units shall link to the main national planning services centre which shall be within the national public service ministry.

GDC Government shall endeavour to provide a dynamic national planning system so as to enhance effective service delivery machinery within the national service sector as well as promote probity, accountability and transparency.

Agenda 28: Public and Private Sector Partnership

GDC Government shall strive to establish cordially cohesive public and private sector partnership initiatives so as to enhance effective public and corporate participation in national development. In this regard the public sector shall encourage the private sector into participating in national development initiatives through invitation to partake in decision –making as well as planning processes regarding private sector programs and activities in particular as well as public sector led dispensations.

In the bid to synergize with the private sector support initiatives such as empowerment drives as well as redress in taxation systems among others shall be provided so as to inspire private corporate obligations towards national development endeavours.

GDC Government shall endeavour to provide the means for encouraging the private sector to greatly contribute in public sector development initiatives through the establishment of dynamic public and private sector relationship for the common good as well as enhance sustainable national political and socio-economic growth and development.

Agenda 29: The Parastatal Sector Development

GDC Government shall strive to reorganize the parastatal sectors so that all such government institutions and agencies that have been accorded semi-autonomy shall be reintegrated into central government for the enhancement of efficient and effective service delivery. In this regard all government departments, institutions and agencies which have been operating parallel to central government shall be reinstated to their line ministerial sectors.

In the bid to reorganize the parastatal sector all such government institutions and agencies shall be revitalized through reabsorption to their direct line ministries where they will be provided the required support so as to enhance more effective system of operation such as the application of greater probity in the service delivery system.

GDC Government shall endeavour to redress the parastatal sector service system in order to allocate all government institutions, departments and agencies to their appropriate government establishment so as to enhance effective coordination in the national service delivery system as well as enhance sustainable national socio-economic growth and development.

Agenda 17: Science and Technology

GDC Government shall strive to improve science and technology as all-time national development need. In this regard, the two disciplines shall be divided into two units so as to maximize the development potential of each of them.

In the bid to maximize the development dividends of science the discipline shall be given increased support as school subject in the school system and as academic and professional course in the higher educational institutions as well as supporting the science in the innovative sector such as medicine, astronomy, navigation, among others.

In the bid to maximize the development value of technology the field shall be divided into two sectors. One sector shall be mechanical technology. The other sector shall be electronics.

The mechanical technology shall consist of mechanized activities such as invention, manufacturing, among others. The electronics sector shall consist of electronic system development such as software, radio, electricity, among others. Against this background science and technology shall be converged in the same government ministry so as to institutionalize the two fields as well as enhance greater research and innovation.

GDC Government shall endeavour to develop science and technology so as to provide for the scientific and technological needs and challenges of the nation as well as enhance sustainable socio-economic growth and development.

Agenda 03: Arts and Sports Development

GDC Government will provide facilities to improve arts and sports development in all disciplines. In this regard, the two sectors will be merged in one institution with an aim to institutionalise the provision required in an organised and structured manner.

At the institutional level, arts will be categorised according to the types of disciplines such as creative arts, musical and dance art, calligraphic arts, craft and design, etc. All aspects of arts will be given the maximum support so as to increase their productive and economic values. In order to promote arts, the government will establish centres of learning and galleries to train and exhibit our arts, craftworks and design so as to boost economic values through creation of marketing opportunities and increase economic prosperity. In the same vein sports shall be given the maximum support through the establishment of various kinds of centres and infrastructure across the nation so as to utilise its economic, ecstasy and health values as well as enhance mass participation and competition in sports. In this regard, all kinds of sport shall be encouraged.

GDC Government shall endeavour to reorganise the arts and sports sectors through institutionalisation of the two disciplines so as to maximise their ecstasy and economic values for the common good.

Agenda 04: Traditional and Cultural Development

GDC Government will strive to provide support for the promotion of both national traditional and cultural values so as to preserve the ancestral heritages and safeguard the historical identity of The Gambia. In this regard, tradition and culture will be restructured into an institution to preserve and safeguard our national heritage.

In order to provide support for the promotion of national traditional and cultural values both sectors shall be institutionalised to enhance the participation of all stakeholders with the aim to harness the economic, aesthetic and ecstasy values in traditional and cultural production as well as for the conservation of these very important national heritages.

GDC Government will endeavour to harness the aesthetic, ecstasy and economic values of the diverse national traditions and cultures and safeguard these heritages to promote The Gambian identity.

Agenda 07: National Economy

GDC Government shall strive to boost the national economy through increasing the harnessing of the economic resources within the nation as well as abroad. In this regard, the economy shall be greater diversified to include industrialization, trade expansion as well as increasing the capacities of the national workforce among others.

In the bid to maximize the development of the economy sector, such as the human resource base of the nation through the provision of more education, training and the creation of more employment opportunities, broadening national taxation rather than increasing taxation, increasing and diversifying the productive and productivity sector such as agriculture, trade, industry among others, maximizing the business and enterprise sectors.

GDC Government shall endeavour to advance the national economic status through diversification of the economic resource base, providing the enabling opportunities for all stakeholders in the economic development among others for the common good.

Agenda 10: Tourism and Hospitality

GDC Government shall strive to greatly develop the tourism and hospitality sectors of the nation through expansion of the infrastructure such as building more hotels and upgrading existing ones, diversifying the resorts and sites across the country, exploration for more holiday makers across the world as well as the creation of much better business environment for both indigenous and international business entrepreneurs within the tourism and hospitality industry.

In the bid to expand the tourism and hospitality infrastructure more opportunities shall be provided to prospective hoteliers for the building of more hotels across the nation especially along the river bank as well as providing the necessary support initiatives for the upgrading the status and capacities of the existing ones.

In the bid to diversify the tourism resorts and ecstasy sites such  amenities as  sports fishing, ecotourism, intercultural exhibitions ,institutionalization of touristic charity and donation support initiatives so as to reinvest into more tourism and hospitality projects and programs as well as the alignment of such support initiatives for the sake of local beneficiaries, institutionalization of  wood carving, craftsmanship and creative arts in a form of an academy which shall provide training in arts, craft and creativity as well as serve as centre for supplying and marketing of creative products.

In order to attract more holiday makers visiting country from across the globe, the government will embark on an effective sales and marketing strategy through The Gambia Tourism Authority.

In the bid to boost the tourism business environment both the local and international entrepreneur licenses and tariffs shall be made modest and tourism sector taxation shall rather be expanded than increased to encourage wide investment which shall include the application of waiving for both imported and exported tourism goods.

GDC Government shall endeavour to make tourism and hospitality a highly viable economic development initiative so as to increase employment opportunities, provide greater income generation initiatives as well as enhance sustainable economic growth and development.

03: IMPROVING SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS

Agenda 01: Education

GDC Government will invest heavily in the national education system from planning to implementation. An efficient and effective educational system is a cardinal developmental priority of any national government.

Against this background national education structures shall be improved so as to institutionalise and functionalise specific and special education categories such as the special education needs, early childhood, basic primary and secondary, technical and vocational, religious and higher education.

In this regard, GDC Government will restructure the education system into a single management system under one minister, permanent secretaries and directorates. In the bid to enhance the provision of the type of national education that will be useful and desirable in terms of quality and relevance, teacher preparation by way of training as well as maximum motivation will be promoted.

GDC Government shall  endeavour to reinforce the educational infrastructure which provides schools all over the nation, increasing  and decentralisation of institutions of higher academic and technical institutions, ensuring the existence of effective and efficient human resource base such as the availability of well trained and greatly motivated teachers so as to enhance the production of relevant and good quality knowledge base that shall reflect on both the existing as well as future  development needs of The Gambia.

Agenda 02: Medical, Health Services and Sanitation

GDC Government will provide the type of health services and sanitation system that prioritises preventive measures through disease management and control initiatives such as inoculation, vaccination, immunisation, study and research, among others as well as health promotion activities such as education and public awareness creation. National sanitation shall be provided through cleansing services and the application of general hygiene across the nation. Against this background, national sanitation as well as public health shall be merged within the health ministry.

In the bid to improve the national sanitation system the cleansing service sector shall be institutionalised to enhance the building of the of the material and the human resource base through the provision of more and high quality equipment and mobility to meet the growing demands and modernise garbage and refuse management systems such as incineration as well as recycling innovation to replace dumping.

In the bid to improve the health management system drugs and medications storage facilities shall be decentralised by establishing medical stores in all health facilities throughout the nation. A GDC government will aim to establish national pharmacology plant to manufacture traditional and conventional medicinal drugs as well as other essential pharmaceuticals.

GDC Government will increase the capacities of health facilities, maximise support for training and research, mainstream conventional and traditional health service delivery through an institutionalised system. The government will merge the Ministry’s two services into one structure to enhance benefit from both types of treatment and the national health services delivery.

04: SECURING DECENT LIVING FOR GAMBIANS

Agenda 26: The Social Services

GDC Government shall strive to improve the national social services in all spheres of the social sectors. In this regard public services shall be more diversified with increased vitality so as to provide maximum quality social services to all peoples of The Gambia

In the bid to improve national social services social infrastructures shall be increased in all aspects of the social services structure such as the health, education, sports, religion, as well as the social service schemes such as pensions and gratuities, death and injury compensations, employment and unemployment benefits, salary and wage increases, sick and disability support initiatives, prisoners and parole support, among others.

GDC Government shall endeavour to provide maximum quality social services through the application of effective social development initiatives so as to enhance sustainable national socio- economic growth and development.

Agenda 08: Natural Resources and the Environment

GDC Government shall strive to harness the national natural resource base as well as develop the environment. In this regard the development of fisheries, water, the forest, the river, the sea as well as the mineral resources shall be greatly increased and diversified so as to become more economically viable and sustainable.

Fish products shall be industrialized through processing for canning as well as for raw fish export.

The forest products such as underutilized indigenous trees and plants which include palm trees, nimb trees, moringer trees, jambakatang, kinkiliba, ngoumgoumeh, horompolleh among others, most of which are both nutritive tea and medicinal products, shall be developed in terms of increasing and diversification of their production as well as in the promotion of their economic values.

As forestry industrialization initiative, vast lands shall be utilized for planting of timber and wood trees such as mahogany, gmalina, and bamboo among others to be used both for local manufacture and for export.

The river shall be greatly utilized for irrigation, river transport as well as to be refined through distillation for consumption. The sea shall be more utilized to produce aquifers and install wind turbines to support electricity supply sector as well as for fishing and for transport.

The available mineral resources such as the sand, salt and rocks shall be harnessed through enhancement of their economic values as well as increasing production and diversification in more sustainable way.

The environment sector shall be merged with the natural resources sector so as to institutionalize the sectors and to enhance their effective utilization such as harnessing of land use, the airspace, wind resources, the flora and fauna as well as for the implementation of better environmental protection strategies for now and for posterity.

GDC Government shall endeavour to develop the natural resources and the environment of the nation so as to preserve the natural heritage as well as enhance sustainable economic growth and development.

Agenda 12: Forestry and the Ecosystem

GDC Government shall strive to develop the forestry and ecosystem of the nation so as to maximize the value and benefit of the national forest and ecosystem resources as well as nurture them for sustainable growth and development.

In this regard the growing of forest trees such as those useful for animal feed, manufacturing, construction, housing among others shall be greatly increased in all forests throughout the nation and in a sustainable way. The entire ecosystem which consists of the biosphere, the biodiversity, the flora and fauna shall be prudently utilized to benefit the people of The Gambia for subsistence in various aspects such as medication, feeding, shelter, security, ecstasy, among others.

The wild life of the nation shall be given well organized care and concern through the conduction of species census, implementation of breeding systems as well as the enforcement of control and protective measures, among others.

GDC Government shall endeavour to increase the values of the forest and ecosystem through provision of sustainable growth and development initiatives as well as the implementation of effective protective and control measures.

Agenda 13: Water Resources

GDC Government shall strive to develop the water resources of the nation for sustainability. In this regard the water resources such as river water shall be processed for human consumption as support to the available good water so as to increase water supply as well as provide good quality water throughout the nation. 

In the bid to increase the utilization of the water resources the salty river water shall be desalinated so as to expand the agricultural productivity base as well as enhance water harvesting.

GDC Government shall endeavour to harness and conserve initiatives the water resources of the nation so as to enhance sustainable socio economic development growth and development.

Agenda 18: Climate Conditions

GDC Government shall strive to improve on the systems available that deals with the climate conditions of the nation. In this regard, climate departments shall be established in the relevant government ministries such as the agriculture, forestry and the environment ministries whereby each institution shall have concern with relevant climate issues.

In the bid to improve on the systems that deals with climate conditions greater support initiatives shall be provided so as to enhance research, education and innovation in climate phenomena and challenges such seasonal processes and changes, rain signs, volume and behaviour, climate change signs and behaviour, global warming phenomena and challenges among others.

GDC Government shall endeavour to provide support to all departments so as to empower them to deal with climate dispositions, phenomena and problems through the provision of required technological, material and human resources.

05: KEEPING THE GAMBIA SAFE AND SECURE

Agenda 05: Energy Resources

GDC Government will harness the development of the energy resources of the nation which consist of both natural energies such as solar, wind, carbonic substances and industrial energy such as gas, electricity, petroleum and fossil fuel. The energy sector will be harnessed to boost national economic prosperity and economic security.

In order to gain maximum potential of our national energy resources, an increased investment will be made in solar innovation, wind turbines and aquifers to support the electricity supply sub-sector and harnessing the carbon substances to support the fuel supply and encourage research in this sector. Investment will also be increased into the industrial energy sector, especially gas elements, petroleum products and fossil fuel so as to boost the national economy and provide adequate fuel resources. 

GDC government will harness the national energy resources both for economic development and utility purposes. The Gambia will adequately utilise the meagre energy resources it is blessed with to its maximum potential to ensure sustainable economic development and national security.

Agenda 15: National Geo-Politics

GDC Government will promote national partisan politics that is consistent with genuine multi-party democracy. In this regard, a conducive environment will be created to enable all citizens to participate in national political dispensations as dictated by the constitution of the Republic of The Gambia.

Agenda 21: The State Executive

GDC Government will establish an efficient and effective executive to serve as head of State and government of the Republic of The Gambia. In this regard, the national executive will comprise the President, the Vice President and the cabinet to be appointed by the President.

The President of the Republic of The Gambia will serve as the head of state and Commander in chief of the Armed and Security Forces of nation.

The Cabinet will consist of the President of the Republic, Cabinet Ministers and Secretary General who will also serve as the Head of the Civil Service of The Gambia.

GDC Government shall endeavour to establish a state executive that shall reflect on the state executive needs of the nation so as to enhance efficient and effective national governance consistent with a democratic state.

Agenda 22: The State Legislature

GDC Government will ensure an independent, effective and efficient legislature with a democratically elected national assembly. In this regard the existence of multi-party representation in the national assembly will be greatly encouraged.

In order to enhance the existence of a democratically independent legislature, the state executive, the judiciary and the legislature will work closely and in the national interest. The government will accord maximum support and cooperation to Parliament to enable it carryout its legislative dispensations effectively and independently in the national interest. 

Government will enhance the existence of a more effective and functional Parliament by consolidating its existing structures consistent with constitutional provisions.

Agenda 23: The State Central Governance

GDC Government shall strive to reorganize the central governance system so as to enhance proper coordination of the management and administrative functions of the central government structures. In this regard the central government structures shall be modified so as to enhance their effective operation.

In the bid to reorganize the state central governance system all structures will be redesigned and reallocated to their line state ministries and state departments so as to ensure their effective functions. Towards these endeavour support initiatives shall be provided to all central structural entities so as to enhance probity, transparency and accountability in their management as well as administrative operations. By extension, the parastatal sectors shall be redressed.

GDC Government shall endeavour to establish an effective state central governance system which shall enhance the efficient operations of the state central government structures through the implementation of effective probity, transparency and accountability initiatives.

Agenda 24: The State Regional Governance

GDC Government shall strive to reorganize the state regional governance system so as to enhance effective regional governance and administration. In this regard regional administrative structures shall be functionalized to serve as link with the respective regional state departments, agencies, institutions among others so as to enhance the harmonization of regional service delivery systems across the nation.

In the bid to reorganize the state regional governance systems regional administrative heads such as regional governors shall be appointed as regional administrative secretaries with assistant regional administrative secretaries, and regional chief executive officers (CEOs) shall serve as regional administrative officers. Towards this endeavour the national regional governance structures shall be composed of municipal structures which shall be governed by elected mayors and ward councillors, the district and village authority structures shall be governed by elected district chiefs and supported by village chiefs.

By extension, regional administration offices which shall be operated by regional administration secretaries, assistant regional administration secretaries as well as regional administration officers shall be established in all municipal council headquarters and shall consist of the regional administrative organ of the ministry of regional governance.

GDC Government shall endeavour to establish an effective regional governance system so as to enhance self- autonomy as well as the effective operation of the regional administrative structures.

Agenda 25: Justice, Law and Order

GDC Government shall strive to reorganize the judiciary system of the nation so as to enhance effective operations of legal dispensations. In this regard the justice system shall be given the required support so as to better functionalize the national legal dispensation.

In the bid to enhance effective operations of the judiciary system justice, law and order shall be given the necessary support initiatives so as to enhance efficient and effective legal dispensation across the nation. Towards this endeavour regional courts shall be expanded both in physical structures and in personnel. Thus legal judges, magistrates and staff shall be posted to all regional courts so as to redress the congestion and delays of the courts throughout the nation.

GDC Government shall endeavour to establish an independent judiciary which shall   be seen to provide efficient and effective justice system in accordance with the laws of the nation.

Agenda 30: Religious Tolerance and Co-existence

GDC Government shall strive to create a high spirit of religious tolerance and co- existence so as to enhance respect and equity among the religious denominations. In this regard all religious denominations shall be encouraged to freely carryout their religious dispensations in the spirit of tolerance and peaceful co-existence throughout the nation.

In the bid to provide the conducive environment for free religious dispensations religious denominations shall be given maximum support and protective initiatives such as the establishment of agency for religious affairs as well as the enactment of the religious tolerance and co-existence Act so as to guarantee the safe existence and free dispensation of deity within the nation.

GDC Government shall endeavour to promote religious tolerance so as to enhance respect, equality and peaceful coexistence of all religions nationwide as well as sustainable national social development growth and development.

Agenda 33: Foreign Affairs (International and Bilateral Relations)

GDC Government shall strive to establish an effective foreign relation system so as to enhance cordial and peaceful co-existence with the world of nations. In this regard the national foreign relation policies shall be revised to build better multi-lateral relationship which can better place nation on the global platform as well as restore relationship with all international agencies and organizations.

In the bid to redress the foreign relation system of the nation effective multi-lateral ties shall be established with nations, international corporations, organizations and agencies so as to broaden as well as consolidate the position of our nation within the world scene for the common good.

GDC Government shall endeavour to establish cordial relationship with all nations in the spirit international peace and security, share political and socio-economic development gains within a global framework as well as collaborate with international, regional and sub-regional organizations, institutions and agencies so as to harness worldwide political, cultural and socio-economic values which shall enhance sustainable social democratic growth and development for our nation.

Conclusion

The Gambia Democratic Congress Manifesto and National Development Agenda have been formulated to outline the development programmes which the Party will implement when it assumes leadership of the government of the Republic of the Gambia to advance the country’s socio-economic development status.

As indicated in the forward, The Gambia attained independence on 18th February 1965, with democratic elections until the military takeover in 1994 with one party dominant. This as a result of genuine democratic lapses, which a GDC administration will address through reforming democratic institutions to entrench multi-party democracy in our country.

Our economic prosperity has not reached to our potential during our 5-decade sovereignty. The country is among the highly indebted poor countries in the world. Our economic deficit and national debt is accumulating on a daily basis mainly due misplaced economic policies and without spending priorities.

This manifesto provides a plan that entrenches progress for every Gambian and their families at any stage of their lives. We offer hope that our country can offer the best economic prosperity and security that meets all our aspirations.

So let us keep our sights high to make our country great to reach its potential for our common good; To The Gambia Ever True.

 Written By The GDC

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