By Olimatou Coker
The committee tasked to transform the Management Development Institute (MDI) into a civil service university has submitted a report to the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Prof. Pierre Gomez.
The handing over ceremony was held at the MoHERST conference hall in Bijilo.
The aim of the transformation is to enhance the professionalism, capacity, and efficiency of the civil service in The Gambia by providing high-quality, degree-level education and training programs for civil servants and other public sector professionals.
Thus, a Transformation Committee was established comprising relevant stakeholders from government, academia, civil service agencies, industry and civil society to guide and oversee the transformation process.
Prof. Pierre Gomez, Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, assured the chairperson of the committee and his team: “We will not change a comma from the report submitted; the way you submitted it is the way we’ll take it to the cabinet. We trust you. We trust in your high level of patriotism and professionalism. We will take it to the cabinet just as you give us”.
“Today as we receive the committee’s report, we affirm our commitment to strengthening the capacity of our civil service. The report we will receive reflects countless hours of dedication, expertise, and tireless efforts from the committee members and they are collaborative. Their work has been marked by diligence and unwavering commitment to the welfare of our nation.”
He said that the transformation of MDI into a civil service institution is not merely an institutional change but a visionary step towards empowering our civil servants.
“We aspire to equip them with the knowledge, skills and ethical values they need to navigate the complex challenges of the 21st century. This transformation is a testament to our commitment to invest in the future of our civil service and by extension the future of our nation. As we receive this report today, we must remember that it represents the combination of extensive consultations, rigorous planning, and a vision for a civil service that can lead our nation towards prosperity. We must also acknowledge the need to to align our policies and strategies.”
He said what the committee members have done is the core of a course on civil service that they have rendered today that people need to learn.
“Our goal is to pave the way for a brighter and more prosperous future for our nation by empowering the very backbone of our governance, the civil service. As it relates to the Management Development Institute, MDI represents a pivotal moment in our commitment to enhance the capacity and excellence of the civil service in the Gambia. This specific agenda is not just about constitutional change. It’s about equipping our civil servants with the knowledge, skills and values they need to drive our nation forward.”
He said as they embark on this transformation journey, they do so with the unwavering belief that a stronger, more empowered civil service will be the cornerstone of socio economic growth and development. “At the heart of any nation’s progress lies the strength and efficiency of its Civil Service. The civil service, often called the backbone of the nation, is responsible for implementing government policies and delivering essential services to the citizens. If performance directly impacts our people’s well being and our beloved country’s overall socio economic development, recognizing the paramount importance of a skilled and well active civil service will embark on a path of transformation. This journey we embarked on, on a path of transformation therefore, led to the formation of the MDI transformation committee. We entrusted this committee with the crucial task of charting a roadmap for transforming the management development into a civil service.”
Yusupha Touray, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, said this is an important gathering and a history-making event in the Gambia. “We are more than happy and delighted to be part of this history-making session.”
Sulyman Samba, Chairperson of the Committee, said during the process, the committee engaged in an interactive deliberative process in search of consensus in the substance and content of this report.
“The report has been tested for relevance by the most senior members of the committee, the most experienced development experts in the committee. It has also been tested from an editing perspective”.