Survey finds government failing in key areas

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CepRass, as part of efforts to strengthen democracy in The Gambia, recently conducted surveys focusing on Barrow’s performance since his re-election and parliamentary elections aimed at highlighting key governance issues in the run-up to elections in the Gambia. April 9.

Presenting findings funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) on Wednesday at the NaNA conference room, Dr. Mustapha Jobateh, senior consultant for CepRass, said 66% of respondents disagree that the Gambian government is committed to fighting corruption.

When it comes to health, the survey revealed that 52% disagree or think if not, the government is considering increasing access to health services.

Regarding education, the survey revealed that 60% of respondents said that education in The Gambia does not prepare students for the job market.

“Prices have risen rapidly since the re-election of President Barrow in December 2021. The government, despite the position of the Central Bank and its fiscal policy, can trigger price stability. However, 85% of respondents disagree or strongly disagree that the government has done enough to stabilize prices,” the survey reveals.

Agriculture retains a key role in economic growth in The Gambia, even though the share of services in GDP is increasing. Agriculture and related industries contribute to economic growth, employment, poverty reduction, food security and nutrition, but when asked if the government was committed to supporting farmers, a substantial majority of respondents said they disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Farmers in The Gambia have said in the past that they will not sell their groundnuts to the government on the grounds that the government usually buys their groundnuts at a very low price.

Crime levels in The Gambia have historically been relatively low. However, the National Guard was called in June 2021 to organize day and night patrols in several areas in support of the police, in response to an upsurge in murders and armed robberies. About 76% reported that the level of the domestic crime rate increased or increased rapidly.

Security sector reform has been implemented in The Gambia since 2017. A policy framework has also been developed. However, 41% of respondents disagree or strongly disagree that the government is still interested in security sector reforms.

Regarding decentralization, most respondents said that the government was not interested in subsidizing local governments.

Half of the respondents also said that The Gambia’s bilateral relations with Senegal are exploitative and do not benefit The Gambia. Forty-nine percent of respondents believe the government is not committed to women in leadership positions. Fifty-two percent of respondents said the government’s performance in youth development is poor.

The Center for Policy, Research and Strategic Studies (CepRass) is an academic and policy research institute based in The Gambia. The Institute is primarily engaged in research, consultancy and training for private and public institutions within and outside The Gambia.

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