Friday, September 9, 2011

Gambia to host 8th Security Watch Africa Awards/Lectures

(L-R) Ida Jaiteh, National Coordinator SWA; Mr Patrick Agbambu, CEO SWA; Mr Iraise Ohiahe SWA; and Fatou Kineh Jamanka, Head of Protocol SWA
Security Watch Africa (SWA), a Nigerian-based security watchdog organisation, has announced that the 8th edition of its 2011 Awards and Lecture will be held in Banjul, The Gambia on October 13-14.
The announcement was made by the International Coordinator, SWA Awards and Lecture, Mr Patrick Agbambu, on Monday during a press conference at a local hotel at Brufut in Kombo north district of the West Coast region of The Gambia. 

The Awards and Lecture, initiated in 2004, is meant to motivate African countries to encourage and boost the security awareness and consciousness in their citizenry. It is also intended to encourage governments, individuals and organisations that put up so much effort to secure their environment and their country.  

The annual event has been hosted by Nigeria from 2004 to 2008 but moved to Accra, Ghana in 2009 and Johannesburg, South Africa in 2010. Various categories are set to be given out, among them, best Governor on security matters; best Governor on conflict resolution;  best safety conscious Governor; most vibrant security agency; best police state command; best security friendly legislator; and best security conscious airline. 

SWA said the awards will cut across various sections of players in security affairs in Africa. According to Mr Agbambu, the recognition of the work of various recipients of the Award rest largely on the impact of their policies and actions.  

“The choice for The Gambia is a reflection of the commitment to peace and security by the government and people of The Gambia”, said Mr Agbambu, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of SWA. “Your country has become a pride of the West African sub-region as it remains the most peaceful, secured and people’s friendly destination.”

In a continent affected by terrible suffering, security remains the bulwark against Africa’s socio-political systems, compelling Mr Agbambu to note that “today, the issue of security in Africa is grabbing the headlines of the mass media and public and private discourse”.

The challenge of security on the continent is taking a delicate dimension, and Mr Agbambu projected that the rate of development will continue to be retarded if concerted efforts are not taken to checkmate the trend.

According to him, security in Africa has become the most important factor among Governments, organisations and individuals. He noted that a country with high security consciousness among others is rated as very stable and investment friendly.

The event will kick off with a series of lectures, and the theme is “Security and Infrastructure: Can Africa Get It Right?” SWA said some heads of Africa Governments (presidents, state governors and regional governments); heads of parliaments; security chiefs; representatives of foreign embassies in The Gambia; media executives; and the award recipients are expected to attend the event in Banjul next month.  

Among them, top dignitaries from Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and The Gambia. 

Author: Modou S. Joof for The Voice Newspaper

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