Suntou Touray Says GID Officers Now Envied By Gambians In The Diaspora

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By Mustapha Jallow

Gambia’s Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Suntou Touray, recently said that Gambians aboard now associate with officers of the Gambia Immigration Department (GID) unlike before.

Touray made this statement on the 23rd of December 2022, during the graduation ceremony of thirty officers who completed six months of intensive capacity-building on information and communication technology (ITC) at the Suruwa Camara Unified Institute in Salagi. The course is in line with GID’s commitment to transform and digitise its mode of operations in documentation processing, border control and migration management among others. The certificated officers were drawn from various units of the GID across the country, and brought together government officials, senior and junior GID staff as well.    

According to Touray, many Gambians are now happier to associate with Officers of the Gambia Immigration Department, since the change of government in 2016-2017. He said during the past, Gambians will come to embassies and surrender their Gambian passports but that this has changed.

According to Touray, over 200, 000 Gambians live aboard and many among them now realise that their children need to have Gambian documents, and this has to pass through the GID.

“I would encourage GID’s DG to work with his line Ministry (Interior), so as to have more immigration officers posted abroad, because this will make the work of Gambian diplomatic missions abroad easier,’’ he added.

Seedy M. Touray, the Director General of the Gambia Immigration Department (GID), said his institution is jointly implementing five projects, which includes the issuance of the new biometric passport; the machine readable immigration data analysis; securiport and capacity-building project jointly implementing with the Geneva centre for security sector governance.

“All these projects are IT related. So certainly, there is need for more immigration officers to be trained on information technology, and plans are underway to extend or expand these training courses. The initial target was sixty and now we have thirty officers who have successfully completed the training. We will certainly sign an additional thirty in the early part of next year during the first quota but we are not only stopping at that. I think the Commissioner for Administration should work closely with the Research and Planning Policy Development Team, so that we can sign an MoU with Suruwa Camara Unified Institute, where all subsequents trainings even on the side of leadership and management, will be conducted,’’ he said.

The GID head further encouraged his administration to work on the MoU so that it becomes something binding.

Sulayman Camara, the Chief Executive Officer for Suruwa Institute of IT said there is need for keeping pace with technology that assist law enforcement globally and adopt them in our own situations. He said the trained officers  covered IT fundamentals, database, networking and cyber security.

“I have no doubt those enrolled on this course are now more than ready to specialise in different IT disciplines. So officers, I believe in you, and you are on track and you also have the critical backing of your command to move from this foundation level and acquire any type of skill in IT that will transform your organisation and benefit our country,’’ Camara told the graduates.

Speaking on behalf of the graduates, Amie G Kebbeh, Assistant Immigration Control Officer, expressed appreciation for the good gesture that the GID DG and the department has for them.