France Alumni Day celebrated in Banjul  

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By Tabora Bojang

An Alumni networking event and photo exhibition for Gambian students who attended French Universities was held at the Alliance Française de Banjul Monday.

The exhibition is part of a joint project under the Campus France office in Banjul, the Cooperation and Cultural Action Service of the French Embassy in Senegal and The Gambia and Alliance Française de Banjul.   

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It celebrates the triumphant achievements of France educated Gambians who created a positive, tangible impact on society and stands out as aspirations. 

The event featured photo exhibition of 12 Gambian Alumni including women who are now holding prominent positions in different sectors across Gambia and beyond.

Some of these figures include the minister of higher education, Professor Pierre Gomez, the vice chancellor of the International Open University IOU Dr Cherno Omar Barry, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Mamadou Tangara and human rights advocate Fatou Jange-Senghore who shared inspiring experiences with the gathering.

Campus France Banjul coordinator, Honorine Ongbassomben, said her office values the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the France alumni in Gambia who are making tangible impacts towards improving lives in communities.

“We are really proud that the opportunities the France government offer to foreign students are making tangible impacts in many different ways. Seeing personalities like Ministers Tangara and Gomez, it will greatly help motivate other Gambian students that they can do more to attain similar opportunities to study in France,” she added.

Madam Honorine stated that her office is committed tocontinue supporting and guiding Gambians who intend to study in France.

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The director of Alliance Française de Banjul, Justine Guschlbauer said the event was an opportunity to help boost French Alumni Network in The Gambia to enhance networking, exchange of information and sharing of inspiring experiences.

The director expressed pride in the Gambian alumni for their unflinching dedication to thrive in their respective fields.

She also disclosed that the photo exhibitions will be on public display at the Alliance Françoise until mid-June and then at the University of The Gambia and various other schools. This, she added, will be a good way for students to see how they can also think about studying abroad and make their dreams come through.

Alumni Fatou Jagne-Senghore said the exhibition and networking is greatly appreciated as it helps in renewing connections among the alumni after many years and availing them the opportunities to share their professional experiences.  

She described French higher education as one of the best in the world with various opportunities for foreign students such as scholarships.

“This is also a very interesting cooperation on cultural exchange and knowledge sharing. Now Gambians can go to France to teach English at different academies and others can benefit from Campus France in terms of their choice of study, opportunities for scholarship and advice about different schools that can accommodate them in France,” she added.

Dr Cherno Omar Barry, a former French government scholarship recipient in the 1990 expressed delight, saying an alumni brings together people who have a shared history in their education, create opportunities for activities around common interests and link “us continuously with our respective institutions; nourishing those beautiful memories”.“This is a very good initiative and I hope that others who studied in France will join the alumni through Alliance Française,” DR Barry said.

The event was organised under the supervision of Fournier Camille the project officer for the French cooperation in The Gambia and Honorine Ongbassomben head of Campus France Banjul.