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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Amran Gaye: A story of literaryinspiration and digital empowerment

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By: Awa Conteh

Welcome back to another captivating episode of TAT Gambian Trailblazers, where we celebrate the stories of extraordinary individuals shaping the landscape of innovation and progress in Gambia. Today, we are privileged to bring you an exclusive glimpse into the life and experiences of a true luminary in the Gambian Tech scene: Mr. Amran Gaye. Amran’s story is evidence of the power of curiosity, perseverance, relentless pursuit of knowledge, and the boundless potential that resides within us.

Amran Gaye, hailing from Banjul, is a unique blend of computer scientists and wordsmiths. His journey into these spheres was fuelled by an insatiable curiosity about both machines and the power of language. He boasts a wealth of academic rigor and professional expertise, underscored by his extensive computer science and software development background. Graduating with a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Maryland (Baltimore County) in 2014, Amran’s academic journey laid a robust foundation for his subsequent professional endeavors.

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Mr. Gaye’s career trajectory reflects a diverse range of roles and responsibilities, from serving as a Technical Solutions Engineer at Google in Canada, where he spearheaded the design and deployment of scalable platforms for partner-facing solutions, to founding and managing Dundal Systems, a Gambian-based software company dedicated to meeting the burgeoning demand for bespoke software solutions. Amran’s professional journey is characterized by a commitment to excellence, innovation, and a steadfast dedication to leveraging technology for societal impact. His extensive experience spans various domains in the United States and The Gambia, including software development, systems management, and consultancy. Through his multifaceted roles, Amran has demonstrated an exceptional ability to navigate complex technical landscapes, develop innovative solutions, and drive meaningful change within organizations and communities.

Amran was a bookworm growing up, finding peace and adventure within the pages of countless novels. Each book opened the door to new worlds, sparking his imagination and igniting his passion for coding and writing. In the quiet corners of the library, he honed his skills, learning the specifics of computer programming and the art of storytelling. His love affair with computers began in middle school, setting the course for his future career.

Amran’s love for literature seamlessly intertwined with his fascination for technology. He found refuge in the written word, admiring the mastery of writers who could whisk readers away to distant lands with their prose. Naturally, this admiration blossomed into his passion for writing, driven not so much by choice but by the necessity to express himself and share his thoughts with the world.

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“I have always loved the written word: most people I admire most are writers. Nothing like the pleasure of a good book: to be in the arm of a master for an evening, transported to another World, completely lost in the story”, he told The Alkamba Times.

In reflecting on his journey, Mr. Gaye finds it remarkable how much he’s learned, often without conscious effort. He’s dug deeply into technology, from learning assembly language to navigating the vast world of Google Cloud, a platform responsible for a significant percentage of everyday internet traffic. With two decades of experience under his belt, his comprehension has really expanded.

Along his journey, Mr Gaye initiated Digital Jollof, an educational initiative inspired by his dedication to promoting coding education and the pressing need for human resources in Gambia, a country with limited natural resources and minimal significant exports.

Recognizing the digital age’s transformative potential, Mr. Gaye seized upon the opportunity to harness Gambia’s greatest asset: its people. Through Digital Jollof, he embarked on a mission to educate and empower Gambians of all ages, from middle school students to graduates, in essential digital skills such as coding, website design, and cybersecurity.

The success of this initiative, particularly in introducing coding to young minds, has fueled Mr. Gaye’s determination to expand and replicate the program. His vision is to scale up Digital Jollof to reach even more Gambians, equipping them with the skills necessary to thrive in the digital era.

“This was very successful – especially the kids’ coding – and the aim is to repeat it and scale it up so we can reach more Gambians. The most urgent thing right now is to equip our people with the skills they need to navigate and excel in the digital age”, Amran said.

Mr. Gaye’s approach to learning and mastering new technologies is rooted in the philosophy that teaching others is the most effective way to solidify understanding. This belief underpins his initiative, Digital Jollof, where he imparts his knowledge to Gambians of all ages. Additionally, he actively engages with social media and online groups to share his insights and educate others on emerging technologies like AI, ensuring that he learns and helps others comprehend complex subjects.

A crucial part of Mr. Gaye’s learning process involves breaking down concepts into digestible explanations. He often shares his newfound knowledge with his wife. Writing essays further reinforces his understanding and serves as a valuable tool for reflection.

Regarding programming languages and technology, Mr. Gaye adopts a hands-on approach. He starts by conceptualizing a personal or public project and dives into building it using the new technology. Through this process, he encounters challenges, researches to overcome them, and experiences the satisfaction of solving programming puzzles.

Mr. Gaye also acknowledges the role of ChatGPT in streamlining his learning journey. Its ability to provide direct answers to questions expedites learning, reducing the need for extensive Google searches.

Through his journey, Mr. Gaye has come to understand the transformative power of technology in improving the lives of Gambians. He believes it’s not just about what one knows but how that knowledge is applied for the collective benefit of society. As someone who has been afforded privileges in life, he sees it as his duty to use technology to uplift and empower those around him, laying the groundwork for a brighter future for all.

“Now, my intention is to bring all that knowledge and experience back to Gambia and aim it towards inspiring people’s lives. As the saying goes: “Talent is evenly distributed, the opportunity is not.” Young Gambians need more opportunities like the ones I had, and I have no doubt they will excel,” Mr. Gaye told TAT.

Amran is driven by a simple yet powerful vision: to provide the Gambia’s youth with the opportunities they deserve, recognizing that talent knows no boundaries, but opportunity does. He envisions a Gambia where every young person can thrive, equipped with the skills and resources to lead fulfilling lives without resorting to risky alternatives.

As we draw the curtains on another enlightening episode of Gambian Trailblazers, we are left with profound admiration and inspiration from Amran Gaye’s journey. Through the lens of his experiences, we have witnessed the transformative power of passion, perseverance, and a steadfast commitment to making a difference in the world.

Amran’s story poignantly reminds us that greatness knows no boundaries and that pursuing knowledge and excellence can lead to remarkable achievements, no matter where one starts. From the quiet corners of libraries to the forefront of technological innovation, Amran’s dedication to his craft has propelled him to success and paved the way for countless others to follow in his footsteps.

Source: alkambatimes

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