Gambia to Graduate 193 Home Trained Engineers

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By Yankuba Jallow 

Professor Pierre Gomez, the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MOHERST) said the first cohort of engineers will graduate from the University of Apllied Science, Engineering and Technology formerly called the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI). 

One Hundred and Ninety-Three (193) home trained engineers will graduate in the Gambia before the end of 2024. Professor Gomez said this is the first time this will be happening in the history of the Gambia. 

“By the end of this year, the first cohort of the engineer’s will graduate, which means we will be making history,” he said.

He said the graduation ceremony will be held before the end of the year. He explained that the Government is building a campus in Brikama behind the Gambia College for the University. He said the Brikama Campus will be for Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical/Electronics Engineering courses. 

He said the Gambia Government entered into partnership with the Kwame Nkrumah University in Ghana to send lecturers and another university in Leicester, England to also send professors to teach entrepreneurship. He added that staff of the University have been sent abroad to study. Nigeria also sent eleven (11) professors and senior lecturers of engineering to the Gambia on a two-year arrangement, which is subjected to extension. Seven (7) professors and senior lecturers from Nigeria are expected to join them to bring the total to Eighteen (18) professors and senior lecturers of engineering only from Nigeria. Professor Gomez said the Nigerian Government is responsible for paying their salaries while the Gambia only takes care of their accommodation and local transportation. 

He said technical and vocational training centers have been built and attached to the University in Jeshwang as the main campus, Kanilai, Mansakonko, Julangel and other areas. He added that they will build a new one in Pacharr for agribusiness, aquaculture and another one in Wassu, which will be a multipurpose site. He said another one will be built in Kombo South specialised in the fisheries sector. The Minister said funds are available for building the TVET centers. He added that each of the TVET centers will have hubs for innovation and entrepreneurship while the one at Pacharr  has a hub for agribusiness. He explained that all the hubs will be aligned to the main one to be housed in the Brikama Campus for capacity building and collaborative support. 

“The hubs will facilitate internship, mentorship, incubation and start-ups,” he said.

He said there is a programme in place meant to train teachers on TVET.

The Minister said the Gambia Government gave scholarship to ten (10) Gambian students to study agribusiness and fisheries at masters’ level in Malawi. He added fifteen (15) people have been identified to go to Turkiye to study the same subjects. He stated that the agenda is to have people specialised in those areas.