Mar 1, 2011, 2:07 PM
Reverend Jesse Jackson, a world renowned civil rights leader, Minister and politician, and a team from the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, while on a state visit to the Republic of the Gambia, have made a courtesy visit to the University of the Gambia. While on the Brikama Campus, Reverend Jackson and delegation were taken on a tour of the Digital Campus of UTG where they witnessed a Mathematics class (on Calculus) being conducted. They were welcomed to the classroom by Ms. Nafy Aidara, the lecturer.
Reverend Jackson made a brief statement to the class and expressed the fact that we are all brothers and sisters who happened to be separated by an ocean. He informed the undergraduate students that among them could be a future president, a future scientist who may come with the cure to help wipe out aids; that we can do whatever we put our minds to. He encouraged the students to be good citizens who do well for mankind.The tour of the campus was followed by a meeting at the Chancery Conference room. In attendance were Reverend Jesse Jackson and his delegation, the Honorable Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Lamin Jobarteh, Mr. Aki Bayo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also in attendance were university staff including the Vice Chancellor, Professor Muhammadou M. O. Kah, Dr. Omar Jah, Deputy Vice Chancellor and other senior members of the university administration, including the deans and heads of departments.
Reverend Jackson, in his speech thanked Professor Kah for coming home to join the government’s efforts to strengthen the education system of the country. He noted that despite the good life he could still be enjoying in the United States, Prof Kah decided to come home and work for his people.
Reverend Jackson also thanked the Gambian Leader, His Excellency, Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya AJJ Jammeh, for his clemency to allow the moratorium on death penalty to continue.
He said they recognize the Gambia as sovereign nation that can execute the laws of the land. He thanked the president for his wonderful gesture. He urged all UTG staff to continue on the good job because they are working in a very important sector of the country.
Speaking at the occasion the Justice Minister who accompanied the delegation explained to the audience what people like him had to endure in their quest for education. However, seeing the kind of leadership that exists under the president, he cannot but join to do his part.
On his part, Professor Muhammadou M.O. Kah welcomed the delegation to the Gambia and the University of the Gambia, in particular. He said he has not only known the work that Reverend Jesse Jackson has been doing, he has known the Reverend himself for a long time now.
He said, referring to the earlier comment by Reverend Jackson, what made it possible for him to come back and work for his country is the visionary leadership of the Gambian president.
He said the Gambian leader’s decision to build a university has made it possible for quite a number of Gambians to come and work for the country.
Professor Kah posited that UTG has embarked on partnership collaboration with universities in the United States, including University of Springfield Illinois and Saint Mary’s College of Maryland. He said UTG has been having exchange programs with these universities and as we speak we have some American students here at UTG.
“We have graduated our first American last year,” he noted. Professor Kah also expressed his gratefulness for President Jammeh’s magnanimity to grant clemency to the death row inmates.
As token of appreciation Professor Kah presented the delegation with Annual Reports of UTG and DVD’s of history research work by UTG. He said his only regret is that Reverend Jackson came to UTG campus and did not get the opportunity to conduct a lecture to the entire UTG students and staff population.