By Omar Bah
Seven University of The Gambia students have been shortlisted to further their studies in ICT at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria through a World Bank scholarship grand.
Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) is a federal government owned and operated Nigerian university. The university is in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria.
The university was founded in 1961 and classes commenced in October 1962.
This latest development was disclosed to The Standard by the Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi University, Prof Anthony Elujoba who was part of the two-man recruiting team to Banjul.
He said the Obafemi University was established fifty years ago and its main priority is sharing with its sister universities in Africa most especially UTG.
“Recently the University got a very big grand from the World Bank on ICT and the proposal that they wrote to get that grand was to grow from country to country on the West African coast to see universities that they can bring up to higher degrees in ICT and capacity building,” he told The Standard in an exclusive interview.
He said this will involve strengthening human capacity and exchange of expertise for these countries.
“I’m in the country with the professor of computer science and engineering and we have identified seven UTG students whose names will be revealed later.”
Prof- Anthony Elujoba, who is an expert on pharmaceutical, further stressed that during their three-day visit, they discussed at length with the vice chancellor of UTG on many areas that they believe they can intervene.
“We decided to come to The Gambia first because UTG and my university since 2014 have an MOU. But since this MOU was signed we have never collaborated or shared anything,” he said.
He said the team also visited American International University West Africa too.
“Unfortunately the American international university is more interested in pharmacy. But we have reassured them that we will send some of our students there whiles some of their students will also come to Nigeria for exchange programs in the areas of pharmaceutical studies,” he said.
“We also visited GTTI and we have identified areas where we can collaborate and when we return, we will see how best to assist them through exchanging our expertise. We are also thinking of bringing some of our professors to these institutions.”
He said his University will also consider intervening in the country’s legal sector, saying: “We have been intervening in the Gambia’s justice system over the years and we will continue to do that in ensuring that we play our part in the new dispensation.”
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the National Assembly Mariam Jack Denton, who attended OAU herself from 1976 to 1978 before proceeding to the Nigerian law school, said the university was one of the best in Nigeria.
She said putting the new dispensation into account, intervention of such magnitude will go a long way in helping the country in her developmental aspirations.