On the 11th of August 2023, officials of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) - Dakar Hub, paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST) including senior staff of the Ministry. The meeting was also attended by project stakeholders such as the Contractor, Shapoorji Pallonji, the Consultant, PACE and the Project Coordinating Unit (PCU) of the education sector. The visit was part of the team’s mission to the country which is meant to inspect the level of works on the University of The Gambia (UTG) Faraba Banta Campus project ahead of UTG’s movement to Faraba Banta by September 2023.
The IsDB is one of five financiers of the UTG Faraba Banta Project, which is meant to provide a state of the earth university campus, aimed at increasing access and improving the quality of higher education in The Gambia.
The Hon. Minister, Professor Pierre Gomez, in welcoming the IsDB team, thanked them for taking the time to come and see the level of implementation of the UTG project and also to discuss areas of concern including the plans to provide further support to the Ministry’s priority programmes. The Hon. Minister used the opportunity to reiterate the Government’s position that Lot. 1 of the University project must be delivered by September and UTG to move to Faraba also in September.
The non-completion of Lot. 1 is non-negotiable he stated. The Minister, therefore, calls on all parties to work closely to deliver Lot. 1 successfully so that the IsDB can be engaged for the construction of a health city which, according to Prof. Gomes, would include five components namely Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Pharmacy and Dentistry. The Minister ends with a strong word to the Contractor that they need to expedite their work to ensure that Lot. 1 finishes on schedule.
He called on the Consultant to closely monitor the work of the Contractor to see to it that there is enough labour on the ground and that work progresses as desired.
Furthermore, the Project Manager (PM) of PCU, gave a brief account of the IsDB’s visit to the project site in Faraba Banta. He reported that the Mission was impressed with the progress on the ground and that they are optimistic that the University can move in by September 2023.
The Contractor, for his part, thanked both the Minister and IsDB for their time and promised to do their best to complete on time. The Contractor buttressed its commitment to finishing Lot. 1 on time and stated that henceforth, they will increase the manpower on the ground in order to further expedite the work.