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City of Banjul
Wednesday, January 20, 2021

MOHERST, DST Sign Agreement

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The agreement, signed by the Permanent Secretaries of both ministries, is a commitment by both ministries to pave the way for mutual agreement in diverse areas of cooperation including capacity building, policy implementation, review of the STI indicators, sending a staff from the Research directorate for training and mentoring, among others.

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It is agreed that a technical team will be sent to The Gambia in the next three months to build the agreement to a Memorandum of Agreement to be signed by both ministers. 

South Africa is committed to strengthening science and technology collaboration in particular focusing on mutual STI capacity building, human capital development and research collaboration that contributes to reducing poverty, unemployment and inequalities. 

1. DST is keenly interested to collaborate with African partners in implementing the Continental Science and Technology programmes, particularly STISA 2024.

2. DST is committed to working with The Gambia in exploring and identifying priority areas of mutual interest through which the two countries can fully exploit STI cooperation for development and economic growth.

The Government of The Republic of The Gambia, through her Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and technology (MOHERST), seeks cooperation in the fields of scientific, research and technological capacity and competency development through knowledge and technological transfer and short-term assistance in the development of technical expertise from diverse experts from the Republic of South Africa’s Department of Science & Technology (S&T). 

Highlights of the areas of cooperation include, but are not limited, to the following:

 

A. Conduct a Situational Analysis of MOHERST’s capacity to determine her effectiveness and efficiency as an organisation capable to revitalize the S&T Ecosystem in The Gambia and put in place a ‘smart’ and futuristic organization.

B. Build Capacity & Competencies to Develop and deploy S&T  

Areas of technical support:

· Review MOHERST’s institutional architecture & process innovations and redesign and restructure processes, policies, and workflow to reposition the organisation as a ‘smart’ and responsive organisation.  

· Review the ecosystem of The Gambia’s current scientific, research and technological infrastructure, policies, institutional arrangements and identify gaps.   

· Review the current national STI policy of The Gambia and to develop the institutional framework and implementation plan.

· Review of the financial and corporate plan of the S&T organization and put in place a comprehensive financial and corporate plan.

· Design and develop a sustainable, strategic and futuristic S&T institutional architecture, mapping all the processes resulting to a comprehensive blue print that will position The Gambia with scientific, research and technological capability in 30 years.  This should include developing a financial and human capital plan, institutional arrangements and requirements for the implementation of the blue print to achieve this national objective.  

· Design and Develop the Gambia’s National System of Innovations (NSI).

· Review current S&T policy instruments, legal and legislative framework to govern S&T development, growth and protection in The Gambia and to put in place all necessary legal and legislative framework and processes.

· Build capacity and competency in space technologies, policies and law, through postgraduate training at University of Cape Town’s Post Graduate Programmes and similar programmes at universities in South Africa. 

· Build capacity and capability in the SKA Project and to participate in the African SKA Project, particularly in the Human Capital Development Programme for studies in astronomy, engineering, technician training programmes; radio telescope technologies. 

· Expose young Gambian scientists to interact and exchange with the world leading astronomers at the SKA Project through internship and short-term visiting opportunities at the South African Space Agency.

· Support The Gambia to be accredited as a member of the African countries identified or accredited with an Observer Status in the SKA African Working Group and ongoing activities.

· Build capacity and capability in high performance computing and support the establishment of a scalable HPC Centre in The Gambia and short-term training at HPC especially at the South African Centre for High Performance Computing.

· Build capacity and capability on Data Sciences/Big Data Capabilities and short-term training on Data Science research canters and institutes in South Africa. 

· S&T Institutional Building to develop national scientific research and innovation organisations in The Gambia – Conceptualisation and Organisational Blue Print and Road Map for the establishment of strategic national scientific institutions to develop, protect and provide funding for research.

· Help establish and strengthen the following:

a. The National Scientific and Research Foundation

b. The Council for Scientific Research & Innovations 

c. The Gambia’s Academy of Sciences

 

The Gambian delegation and the Department of Science and Technology expressed willingness to cooperate, and for the two countries, to enter into and sign a Memorandum of Agreement establishing their cooperation in S&T within 60 days from this meeting.

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