The Gambia, Sierra Leone universities strengthen ties, sign MoU

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Deputy Vice Chancellor of The University of Sierra Leone, Professor Sahr Thomas P. Gbamanja, has expressed his institution’s readiness and determination to re-establish and maintain concrete relations with the University of The Gambia (UTG).

Prof Gbamanja, who is in The Gambia together with other senior officials of the University of Sierra Leone (USL) to put modalities in place as regards engaging in expanded bilateral ties, said the cooperation between the two institutions will benefit students, lecturers and officials of both universities.

The visiting delegation included Director of Alumni and International Relations of the USL, Mrs Bernadette Cole, and the Public Relations Officer, Mr Michael Munda Rogers.

“We have so much in common with The Gambia: politically, economically and socially, so let’s work together, as there are so many things we can benefit from each other if we collaborate,” Professor Gbamanja said.

He also disclosed that the University of Sierra Leone had just won a DFID project of about 5 million euros, which the UTG could benefit from through well planned and resourced research work and educational projects.

“We partner with other universities in other nations such as the UK and Nigeria. We thought we should come and extend a hand of friendship with you also,” he told the UTG authorities.

The essence and significance of the relations between both universities was also emphasised by the Ambassador of Sierra Leone to The Gambia, H.E. Soulayman Daramy, who also reaffirmed the long-standing ties and cordial relations between Sierra Leone and The Gambia, hence the need for such a strengthened and expanded relations in education.

“This has been my dream to see that we collaborate and support each other in many areas,” he said.

In his remarks, Dr Tommy, a Gambian United Nations retiree, also emphasised the need for the ties.

An alumnus of the University of Sierra Leone, Dr Tommy said it is essential that both universities highlight their challenges to be able to tackle them through collaborative efforts and viable educational programmes.

“Let’s look at how we can grow, especially from the perspective of Science, Technology and Innovation,” he added.

For his part, the Vice Chancellor of the University of The Gambia, Professor Faqir Anjum, outlined the various faculties or departments of the UTG and encouraged the USL delegation and authorities to uphold and realize the relations between the two universities, saying that in addition to research and exchange, support for students, lecturers and officials of both institutions, they could also establish Credit Transfer Possibility agreement to enhance the relations.

Presently we have nine schools: which include the School of Law,  the School of Journalism and Digital Media, the School of Medicine, the School of Agriculture, and the School of Business,” he said, adding: “Let’s create the man power needed as we extend hands of friendship,” he said.

He also mentioned Master’s and PhD programmes, which can be expanded on.

 “I am looking forward to working closely with you all,” he said.

The Registrar of UTG, Mr Momodou Lamin Tarro, the Dean, School of Business and Public Administration, Dr Momodou Mustapha Fanneh, and the UTG Relations Officer, Mr Abdoulie Sillah, also made sound remarks during the deliberations.

Earlier on Tuesday 18 July Professor Gbamanja and delegation had a te’te-a’-tete’ and close-door meeting with the Minister of Higher Education, Dr Badara Joof, at his office on how to cement the bilateral ties.

A documentary on the past and present day Fourah Bay College of Sierra Leone starting from 1827 was also shown on Wednesday at one of the halls at the UTG Secretariat, where Mrs Berbadette Cole gave brief remarks on the history of the USL and called on alumni for support.

The week-long visit was wrapped up with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between both unverisities.

Author: Ousman Kargbo