Inaugural Speech of the Vice Chancellor at the Faraba Banta Campus

Your Excellency, our Chancellor, President of The Republic of The Gambia, Mr. Adama Barrow

Your Excellency, the Vice President, Mr. Muhammed B.S. Jallow

Secretary-General and Head of the Civil Service

Honourable Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology

Honourable Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs and other Cabinet Members

Chief of Staff and Permanent Secretaries

Honourable Members of the National Assembly

Your Excellency’s Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corp

Governor of West Coast Region, Traditional Chiefs and Alkalo of Faraba

Service Chiefs, and Heads of Agencies

Members of the Delegation from the Islamic Development Bank, The Kuwaiti Fund, OPEC Fund, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), and Saudi Fund Development

Religious Leaders

Chairman and Members of the University Governing Council & Past Governing Council Members

The Consultants for the Project, PACE

The Contractors for the Project, Shapoorji Pallonji

Distinguished invited Guests, Members of Senate,  Senior Management of  UTG

Staff and Students of the University of The Gambia

Friends and partners of UTG

Members of the Media

Good morning

It is an honour and a pleasure to extend a warm welcome to all of you on this momentous occasion as we gather to celebrate the inauguration of Lot 1 of the Faraba Banta Project.

Welcoming remarks:

Today marks a significant milestone in the journey of our university, The University of The Gambia, one that we have eagerly anticipated and diligently worked towards.

May I welcome in our midst

·    the Chancellor of The University of The Gambia, and President of the Republic, His Excellency Mr. Adama Barrow,

·    the Vice President, His Excellency Mr. Muhammed B.S Jallow,

·    the Honourable Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Professor Pierre Gomez and

     The Honourable Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Seedy Keita

·    the distinguished development partners who traveled long distances to be here with us.

I also welcome the Chairperson of the University Governing Council, Mr Matthew Ndure, and Members of the Governing Council and all the Government officials here present.

Context:

Since our establishment in 1999, the University has faced numerous challenges, with the lack of adequate infrastructure identified as a major constraint. We embarked on this journey with determination, despite starting without a single structure of our own. Instead, we relied on the generosity of existing tertiary institutions, particularly the Management Development Institute (MDI) and The Gambia College.

Today, as we witness the inauguration of Lot 1, comprising the School of Arts & Sciences (SAS), School of Business & Public Administration (SBPA), School of Education (SEDU), School of Information Technology & Communication (SITC) and the Library, we reflect on the journey that has brought us here. All the buildings are fully furnished, with modern teaching and lab equipment including smart boards, computers and projectors. There is also the soft component of Lot 1 which included the following:

  • Curricula review of 60 undergraduate programmes and 27 postgraduate degree programmes.
  • Capacity development with a total of 18 staff who completed their postgraduate programmes – 11 doctorate and 7 master’s degree programmes.
  • Twinning arrangements with universities in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Turkey. These arrangements included sharing and learning from best practices.

This new campus represents more than just bricks and mortar; it symbolizes progress, growth, and the fulfillment of our collective aspirations as a nation. With expanded facilities and resources, we will enhance our academic offerings, elevate our research endeavors, and strengthen our community engagement.

Gratitude and Appreciation:

I would like to thank the following:

First and foremost, I wish to express our profound gratitude to the Chancellor of the University of The Gambia, His Excellency President Adama Barrow and the Government of The Gambia for its unwavering support and commitment to higher education. Your vision and dedication have transformed a dream into reality, as evidenced by the magnificent structure before us. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to provide an enriched learning and research environment for current and future generation of students.

I extend my deepest appreciation to the funders of this magnificent project, whose generosity and foresight have made this day possible. Your investment in education will have a lasting impact, not only on the lives of our students but also on the socio-economic transformation of our nation.

As we celebrate this milestone, let us also acknowledge the dedication and hard work of the Honourable Minister  of Higher Education, Research Science and Technology, Professor Pierre Gomez and his team, our Governing Council, staff and students of the University of The Gambia. Your resilience, creativity, and unwavering commitment to excellence have been instrumental in shaping the success of our university. Together, we have overcome numerous challenges, embraced opportunities, and forge a path towards a brighter future.

On behalf of the University community, I wish to thank the leadership of Management Development Institute (MDI) and Gambia College for sharing their facilities with us since our inception. We are truly grateful.

 Let me also express our heartfelt appreciation to the community of Faraba for according us the space and contributing towards national development.

Challenge & Closing:

Your Excellency, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, let me seize this opportunity to challenge members of the university community to be committed to the proper handling of this magnificent facility to guarantee its sustainability.

In closing, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to each and every one of you for your presence.

Your support and encouragement will inspire us to strive for greatness and to continue our pursuit of knowledge and innovation. Let us embark on this new chapter with optimism, determination, and a shared commitment to excellence.

I thank you for your kind attention.