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GAMWORKS launches new capacity building project

Mar 12, 2012, 12:47 PM | Article By: Isatou Senghore

Gambia Agency for the Management of Public Works (GAMWORKS), in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, last Thursday organised a start-up workshop at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, which also marked the formal launch of the Technical Assistance Grant for Capacity Building Project funded by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

As part of the project, the Gambia government has received a technical assistance grant of US$400,000 from the IDB to provide technical assistance and capacity building, for the training of personnel of project implementation units within the ministries and agencies that are executing the IDB projects.

The project is being implemented by Gamworks, on behalf of the Ministry of Finance and Economic affairs.

Speaking at the ceremony, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mod Secka, said: “The Government of The Gambia recognizes the critical importance of the input of highly skilled and competent workforce in realizing our desired development goals.”

He noted that the factor is appropriately reflected in government’s tactical strategies that have been charted to achieve our medium-term development objectives under the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE)”.

 PS Secka added that undeniably as well, capable, experienced and versatile human resources in our nation are essential ingredients for the attainment of the country’s Vision 2020 objectives.

According to PS Secka, the Government of The Gambia is pleased that the IDB has approved the project proposal for a grant for Capacity Building in Project Management.

He said the need for the project was precipitated by the delays -excruciating delays at time - which has characterised the implementation of most of the current portfolio of the IDB projects in the country.

More often than not these projects have been beset with problems related to procurement of consultancy services and works, contact administration and ineffective project management practices, he noted.

PS Secka says the government firmly believes that the project will address these present capacity gaps and greatly improve performance not only in the implementation of the IDB-funded projects, but other donor-funded projects as well.

PS Secka thanked the IDB on behalf of the government and Gamworks for supporting government’s efforts in infrastructural development and capacity-building of institutions.

For his part, Ebrima Cham, director general of Gamworks, said the project is financed by the IDB with counterpart contribution from the Gambia government.

“The grant is to the tune of US$290,000 and the project will last for a period of 18 months and the closing date of the grant is 30th March 2013,” he said.

According to him, the purpose of the workshop is for the stakeholders to familiarize themselves with the objectives, activities and strategies of the project.

The project is targeted to benefit 117 persons in the project implementation units (PIUs) within the ministries and agencies that have the IDB-financed projects under implementation.

DG Cham said the grant project will focus on providing training courses on project management, procurement, monitoring and evaluation of donor-funded projects, as well as leadership in project management.

Gamworks’ strategic partner in implementing the thrust of the project is the Management Development Institute (MDI) of the University of The Gambia.

The MDI, he said, will conduct for them three local training courses while the external training course in leadership in project management will be provided by SETYM training centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

DG Cham said the IDB continues to intervene in important sectors of the Gambian economy, such as education, health, agriculture and infrastructure, which is facilitating the country’s journey towards achieving its development objectives as espoused in Vision 2020. 

For her part, the director general of MDI, Madam Jainaba Kah, said the MDI is most grateful for the opportunity to contribute to addressing the longstanding capacity gaps by becoming a partner in the provision of training.

Madam Kah revealed that they are presently upgrading their curricula by partnering with Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) through a technical support on module development initiative funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat.

IDB regional representative Ould Mohammed Taleb also addressed the forum and congratulated Gamworks and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.