By Aisha Tamba & Awa Macalo
United Nations Development Programme and University of The Gambia recently signed a memorandum of understanding to implement the Sustainable Development Goals in The Gambia on areas of mutual interest such as SDG tracking, curriculum development, case studies and research.
The partnership extends hands on project design, piloting and implementation of the Gender Equality Seal.
The UTG vice chancellor, Prof. Muhammad Anjum said the memorandum of understanding will facilitate and strengthen collaboration between the UTG and UNDP to include the UNDP accelerator lab to support the development of innovative solutions for the attainment of the SDGs in the country.
He explained that during the course of the programme, different schools within the UTG will select particular thematic areas to work on the implementation process in different stages.
“These areas include curriculum development (School of Education), training on climate change (School of Agriculture) renewable energy and management of chemical waste under (School of Arts and Sciences). Also establishment of entrepreneurship hub for training and supporting business on SDGs under the School of Business and Public Administration,” he said.
He noted that the University, being the premier public institution of higher learning in The Gambia, is key in collaboration with the UNDP The Gambia to implement the UDGs in the country.
“The University is already contributing towards the implementation of SDG 4 which is quality education in addition to steps taken in implementation of SDG17 which is partnership to achieve these goals by partnering with many institutions like UNDP.
“On the aspects of gender equality seal, the University will through the School of Arts and Sciences conduct research on gender and women empowerment and knowledge sharing with organisations and policy makers through our publications.”
He pledged that the University and UNGP are committed to mobilise resources necessary to facilitate the development and implementation of all the programmes embedded into the partnership.
“This will avail UTG the opportunity to build on its public service to The Gambia’s current and future students, leaders and decision makers with solution to complex societal challenges,” he added.
The UNDP Resident Representative Aissata De expressed delight in signing the MoU with key areas of collaboration that all contributes to the achievement of the 2030 agenda.
“As you know, we are engaging in a decade of activism to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. It is a commitment not only for the government but all society engagement for better achievement of these SDGs.
This is timely, although we started the process last year because we all know the unprecedented process in which we are operating as researchers and students at the University of The Gambia. As a university, we want you to have an in-depth analysis of what Gambia is doing in achieving those goals but also, what is your reading of what the society is going through.
“This is why we discuss and we defined three areas possible to have better knowledge and build capacity within the university to contribute to the SDGs and including them in the curricular activities, but also being the advocate within the society because this is a place that many people come from all over the country and also global network with several universities across the globe,” she highlighted.
“The UTG is not only promoting gender but also women’s representation, also promoting all the policies behind even in its own administration to ensure that gender is as it has to be in this prestigious institution.”