#National News

MoHERST validates first National Research Policy of The Gambia

Apr 7, 2022, 11:00 AM | Article By: Ali Jawo

The Directorate of Research under the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology on Tuesday validated the country's first National Research Policy.

The symbolic event, which was held at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center in Bijilo, was attended by officials from the Ministry of Health (MoH), Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE), Medical Research Council (MRC), Gambia National Library, University of The Gambia (UTG), Management Development Institute (MDI), staff of MoHERST, among other stakeholders.

Addressing the gathering, Mod A.K. Secka, permanent Secretary of MoHERST, underscored the importance of research in national development, saying the world today is experiencing structural global transformations, which he said, can be attributed to the fast pace of scientific discovery, development and innovation that has occurred in recent times.

“It is important that we open the dialogue and it is important that we get our priorities right. Why are the sub-Saharan African countries lagging behind in education when other regions are moving? We must work towards making research inform policy, public dialogues and mutual engagements on all the issues that are of relevance to The Gambia. This should be our focus now,” he reiterated.

The Director of Research at MoHERST, James Gomez, noted that the main objective of the Directorate is to ensure research quality, strengthen research capacity and infrastructure, as well as management of research in the country.

Gomez recalled that the joint MoHERST-UTG study conducted in 2010 concerning research in The Gambia, revealed that different public and private institutions conducted research, but with little collaboration.

"Conscious of the existence of the National Health Research Draft Policy, 2009, the Ministry of Health has formal structures to facilitate, regulate and monitor health research activities within the sector. This includes a scientific ethic committee at UTG, Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, MRC scientific coordination committee, others. However, there was no legal framework to guide the functioning of the various health research committees”.

Thus, the first National Research Policy validated, he said, provides a legal framework and regulatory instruments to guide research operations in the country.

Senior Research Officer, Lala Jaiteh, thanked MoHERST, particularly the Minister and Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology for the initiative.

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