Badara Alieu Joof, The Gambia’s 10th Vice President

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On Wednesday, May 4th 2022, President Adama Barrow announced his new cabinet after four months of waiting.

Badara Joof was appointed the vice president, becoming the 4th vice president under President Adama Barrow and the 10th since independence.  His predecessors were Dr Isatou Touray, ANM Ousainu Darboe, Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang, Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy, Saihou Sabally, Bakary Bunja Dabo, Assan Musa Camara [served twice], Alieu Badara Njie and Sheriff Mustapha Dibba.

Badara A. Joof obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education at Bristol University and a Master’s degree in Development Studies at the University of Bath. He later obtained another Master’s degree in Languages and Literature in Education at the London University.

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Joof was also a qualified teacher who joined the Civil Service of The Gambia and rose through the ranks, serving as Assistant Secretary, Senior Assistant Secretary, Principal Assistant Secretary and Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Office of the President, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Youths and Sports, and Education.  He has also served as Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Ministry of Agriculture, and Ministry of Local Government and Lands.

The new vice president was a UNDP consultant with a Liberian Professor, on Civil Service Reform and, also a World Bank consultant with a Danish consultancy firm, CONSIA International, on the Community Driven Development Programme (CDDP), before joining the World Bank, a month after.

While at the World Bank, Badara Joof worked as a Liaison Officer, Operations Officer and later as an Education Specialist for West and Central Africa.

Since February 2017 to 4th of May 2022, Badara A. Joof has been the Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology of The Gambia. Badara A. Joof is admired by his colleagues and officers under him as a visionary leader who is proactive and meticulous to details. He has created a culture that if you work with him, you have to be on your feet.

During his term in office as the Minister of Higher Education, Badara Joof has successfully spearheaded series of reforms in the tertiary and higher education system of The Gambia. These include the transformation of Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) into a University of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology (USET), the transformation of Gambia College into a Teacher Education University and the transformation of Management Development Institute (MDI) into Gambia Institute of Public Administration and Management (GIPAM).

In addition, the decentralization of Technical and Vocational Education and Training in different parts of the country was done during his tenure as higher education minister. These institutions include the newly-established Julangel Skills Center in Basse, Mansakonko Skills Center, Ndemban Skills Center, among others. Badara Joof is a firm believer that a skilled nation is a wealthy nation. It is no secret that TVET is very dear to his heart. Through his leadership, the Ministry has just concluded the development of a TVET policy and Research Policy. For him, The Gambian youth require relevant skills to fit in the labor market. Against this backdrop, the Ministry is implementing a policy on entrepreneurial education through which graduates will become job creators and not a burden on government and other stakeholders for employment.

Joof is not only intellectually inclined but also an expert technician. He is a leader who loves to uplift others by building their capacities. At MoHERST, he has encouraged the capacity building of many of his staff such as cleaners, orderlies, drivers, technicians among others to attain degrees, diplomas and certificates.

Best of luck, Mr Vice President!