Source: The Daily Observer
The resident coordinator of the United Nations system in The Gambia has praised the government for the strong push for women empowerment, saying the country is on the right path to unleashing the potential of women in national development.

Speaking Tuesday during a meeting with the vice president and Women's Affairs minister at State House, ADE Mamondane Lekoetje pledged her office's support to assist the government in that drive. She informed that her office is already offering support to organisations, particularly women-based ones, citing the TRY Oyster Association as one such organisation receiving support from them.

"We are also expecting to receive a mission from our head office to look at strategies to strengthen the relationship between The Gambia and the UN system," she further informed. The UN diplomat described as commendable the political will The Gambia government attaches to women empowerment, saying "President Jammeh has done tremendous work in terms of women empowerment". "This is about putting women in areas where they can potentially hold," she added.

Lekoetje told the VP that she was at State House to seek her (VP's) guidance on how best the UN can collaborate with The Gambia government in the pursuance of the set development goals as well as to also deliver an invitation to her to attend the 2nd Consultative Forum in Banjul, on Social Protection slated for December, this year.

In her response, Vice President Njie-Saidy thanked the UN systems for the support rendered to The Gambia, saying it has a lot of expertise in various developmental areas.

The veep recalled the support rendered to The Gambia when the nation experienced a food crisis, acknowledging that that intervention helped in mitigating the situation. While acknowledging that the UN is The Gambia's main donor agency, the vice president stressed the need for the Banjul office to work closely with government, especially in the priority areas.

The VP then thanked all the UN agencies in the country for their contribution to national development, assuring them of government's continued collaboration at all times. The Gambia Food Safety and Quality Authority Board

In a separate engagement at her office at State House, the vice president also received in audience the board of directors of the Food Safety and Quality Authority of The Gambia. They were at the presidency to formally brief the VP on the current engagements of the Authority.

Speaking at the end of their meeting with the vice president, the chairman of the Authority's Board, Muhammed Sillah, said the institution is relatively young and that they are currently working on designating relevant positions in place. He informed that during their discussion with the VP, they also briefed her on the upcoming groundnut trade season.

Noting that despite the fact that the institution is young, they are trying very hard to move forward. He however expressed confidence that the constraints besetting the smooth operations of the Authority will eventually be surmounted at the soonest possible time.

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