By Tabora Bojang
Gaston Berger University of Senegal, in partnership with the University of The Gambia, last Saturday graduated forty-six Gambians under the ACE World Bank project.
The 46 completed a 2-year programme at master’s and doctorate levels.
The graduates are the first cohort of Gambian students under the World Bank’s Africa Centre of Excellence Project. They include one PhD holder in mathematics, 16 masters of Science in mathematics, 18 masters of Science in statistics and 11 masters of Science in computer science.
The programme seeks to produce critical mass of intellectually, talented professionals to help in meeting the human capital needs for the country’s socio-economic development in Science, technology, engineering, mathematics, health and agriculture.
The Minister for Higher Education, Research Science and Technology Badara Joof, described the event as a milestone achievement for the country, in line with the Governments ‘new policy, which is to have a skilled workforce and professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to respond to the county’s development needs.
They were trained by the Gaston Berger, and supported by the University of The Gambia in enhancing teaching and space accommodations for the successful implementation of the programme.
Professor Faqir Muhammad Anjum, the vice chancellor of the UTG, said the role of tertiary education as a catalyst for socio-economic development cannot be over emphasised “when one looks at the prosperity enjoyed today by some small nations whose past economic history are not dissimilar to that of today’s Gambia”.
He reminded graduates of their obligation to plough back privileges of what they learn back to the society.
The initiative includes Gambian students in eight universities across Africa and it is expected to continue as The Gambia is accepted into ACE 3 of the project.
The national focal coordinator for the ACE programme in the Gambia Yusupha Touray, said the graduates have conducted their researches around critical issues affecting the socio-economic development of the country, while calling on their institutions to implement the works developed by the graduates to progress the micro and socio economic development of the country.