By Makutu Manneh
President Adama Barrow has laid the foundation stone for the construction of the first phase of the University of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology (USET).
The event took place on Saturday 30th July 2022 in Brikama, West Coast Region.
Speaking at the event, President Barrow said from now, students who choose to become engineers and architects can proceed beyond the Higher National Diploma (HND) level, to pursue degree programs in engineering and related disciplines at USET.
“The emerging centre of excellence in Science, Technology and Engineering for entrepreneurs will help the sector to deliver degree programs that will groom skilled job creators through entrepreneurship and other outlets,” he said.
“Such ventures will avail the youth various openings to address our capacity challenges,” Barrow said, and that his Government expects the senior secondary schools will provide qualified students for USET.
The president commended Vice President Joof for pioneering the policy direction for this project, and thanked the current Minister of Higher Education and his technical team at the Ministry, for implementing the project. He said they will collaborate with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana, and De’Montfort University in Leicester, the United Kingdom.
Baboucarr S. Janneh, Principal Architect of Fenta Consultant Architects, Engineers and planners, said the University is designed to be progressive with all the modern facilities of a higher quality University in the 21st century. Janneh said the first phase of the project consists of the department of civil engineering; electrical and electronics engineering and department of mechanical engineering. He said the new University will have building facilities for teachers, a library, resource centre, auditorium, regional conference centre, administration buildings, commercial centre with allowances for banks, cafeteria, shops, printing resources, medical centre, book and stationary shops, students and staff accommodation, sport and recreational facilities.
“All the facilities are designed with the highest standards complete with teaching spaces and laboratories,” Janneh said.
Matarr Touray, World Bank representative said the initiative is critical as it will help the Gambia to train the next generation of skilled engineers needed across the various sectors such as agriculture, health, ICT and energy.