The Honourable Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Professor Pierre Gomez, on Wednesday 18th October 2023, received in audience the European Union (EU) Ambassador to The Gambia, His Excellency Corrado Pampaloni.
The Honourable Minister expressed his heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the EU Ambassador for a timely visit when the transformation agenda of the sector is at an advanced stage and briefed His Excellency Ambassador Pampaloni on the recent activities of the Ministry.
The highlights included completing Lot 1 of the UTG Development Project Fixed Package and commencing classes at the UTG Faraba campus. He also spoke at length about the World Bank Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence Project and the progress made on the ongoing construction of the University of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology (USET) campus in Brikama; the various components of USET, such as the degree awarding College of Science and Engineering, the Institute of Technical Training, running the certificate and diploma programmes and taking charge of the regional TVET centres across the country.
The Hon. Minister updated the Ambassador on the new paradigm shift in post-secondary education, TVET, to be more specific, which ensures the embedding of innovation and entrepreneurship in the tertiary and higher education programmes. According to the Hon. Minister, there is already a hub on entrepreneurship and innovation at USET, supported by the World Bank through the Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence, Impact for Development (ACE Impact) Project.
Minister Prof. Gomez also talked about the inauguration of the Ndemban TVET Centre and the assistance received regarding instructional materials from TIKA and KOICA. He expressed the desire for the EU’s continuous support in the government’s TVET revitalisation process and to provide opportunities for youth and women to access TVET programmes.
For his part, the European Union (EU) Ambassador to The Gambia, His Excellency Corrado Pampaloni, thanked the Honourable Prof. Gomez for the invitation and reassured the Minister of the EU’s continuous support in TVET development.
Similarly, H.E. Pampaloni advised the Honourable Minister to continue pursuing other opportunities, such as Erasmus+, which has excellent potential to help in the country’s human capital formation.
The two parties agreed to have more engagements in the areas of development, especially those with more significant opportunities for the country's youth. The Ministry's Permanent Secretary, Dr. Yusupha Touray, also attended the meeting.