By Omar Bah
Four Masters students of computer science from the Vrije University of Brussels (VUB) are currently in The Gambia to install three computer labs, a research hub, and an E-library at the University of the Gambia. VUB is an internationally renowned university located in Brussels – the heart of Europe.
The UTG signed an MoU with VUB sometime last year and since then relations between the two institutions have been growing from to strength to strength.
UTG vice chancellor and other senior officials of the UTG visited Brussels this year as part of the MoU exchange program.
The delegation led by Jimmy Hendry Nzally, a graduate of the University of The Gambia, who is currently doing his PhD in political science at VUB, arrived in The Gambia recently. The delegtion will be in the country for a period of 21 days.
Speaking to The Standard on their visit, Alexandre Kahn, one of the visiting students, said the visit is under the framework of the UTG-VUB MoU.
“As you may know, lots of computers have been sent from Belgium to the UTG.
We are here to help set up those computers at the lab.
The Lab and Hub when completed will assist students in their IT program and research as it will help them learn on their own,” he explicated.
He said the visit has also accorded them and their Gambian counterparts opportunity to learn from each other based on mutual grounds, and “I must say that the Gambian people are very accommodative and we love every bit of our stay in The Gambia.”
His colleague Steven Denys, described the students of the UTG as “very motivated and committed to their work and I think we are learning from each other”.
The Gambian people, he added, despite most of them being under-privileged, “are very contented with what they have and are always smiling”.
The cultural relationship that exists here is quite familiar to that which exists in my home country Greece, said Eleni Ilkou, also one of the visiting students.
“I must say that I am also really amazed by the efforts Jimmy Henry Nzally is making in giving back to his country.
He is always trying to be there to give his support whenever needed and I think Gambia is blessed to have someone like him,” she acknowledged.
Elnur Abdullaev, another member of the visiting delegation, expressed his delight to being here in the country to render service to people he said direly need it.
“I think there is a very good progress at the UTG and very soon it will be among the greatest universities in the world.
I think we can be very proud of the UTG,” he said.
He commended the “tremendous Jimmy” for efforts to ensuring that the UTG-VUB partnership continues to growth.