By Mariama Marong
Professor Pierre Gomze, deputy vice chancellor of academics of the University of The Gambia (UTG), has revealed that they have invested forty-three million dalasi in research which is being done by lecturers this year.
He made this remark during the official opening ceremony of the UTG Directorate of Research and Consultancy complex at Kanifing.
The main goal of establishing the research center is to coordinate research activities of the university through a well-structured governance framework.
Speaking at the ceremony, held at the university research complex, professor Gomze said university is an institution that teaches people and communities and it also serves as a place where people do research.
Gomez said UTG supported lecturers to embark on research which goes with checks and balances. He said the establishment of the directorate of research and consultancy by the university management is a great response that will enable academic research in the Gambia.
“University is a place where one needs to conduct research and also respond to social demands, because academics must come out with their touch light and they need to lead their people from darkness to light,” he said.
Professor Gomze said with regard to consultancy, the university is receiving millions which will be of great support to the school and its lecturers, saying the millions that are generated from the consultancy will be ploughed back in the promotion and development of research in the country.
Gomez said the center will serve as a roadmap in national development as it will enable the lecturers and their staff to research in all fields of learning.
Dr Muhammed Sanyang, director of research and consultancy UTG, said their research is not only meant for research’s sake, but for national development through improving livelihoods.
Dr Sanyang said the country cannot be developed or transformed by any other country or persons, but by its people. He said change starts with “us” and the country has all what it takes to develop. He emphasized that the country has potential, resources and knowledge to develop and change its future.
“But we need to be agents of change by changing our mindset, attitudinal change towards work and change our perception,” he noted.
Sanyang called on the government to promote, invest and support university research at all levels as that will contribute to national development. He argued that if policies are not informed through research but based on predictions, then change and development will not be realized.
Sanyang urged the UTG management to prioritize research not only as an intellectual property, but also to actively contribute to the economic, political, cultural and technical development of The Gambia.
Professor Muhammed Faqir Anjum, Vice Chancellor of the University of The Gambia, said research has ever been a central agenda in university, saying this is because no higher institution of learning can be successful in knowledge preservation and transmission without its faculty staff engaging in research.
He added that the importance of research for a university cannot be overemphasized, noting that it is through research new discoveries are made as well as new technologies and ideas are developed for the better of the society.
“It is in research that new curriculums are developed to ensure that training that universities do respond to the needs of society,” he said.
Dr Anjum said the directorate will be responsible for ensuring that basic infrastructure needed for the support of research in the university is in place and coordinating consultancy activities in the institution to ensure the needs of its clients are carried out efficiently and effectively.