On Friday, 17th March 2023, the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST), in collaboration with the Department of Human Development and Social Affairs at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), concluded the capacity-building workshop on Research Writing Methodologies and Research Projects. The closing ceremony, held at the Ministry’s premises in Bijilo, was marked by the award of certificates to participants for haven completed 10 days of intensive training in The Gambia.
In his remarks, the Honourable Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Professor Pierre Gomez, thanked the ECOWAS Commission for the successful implementation of this training workshop. He encouraged participants to utilize the knowledge and skills they have garnered during the course of the workshop to come up with research proposals and projects that will have an impact on national and international development.
“The Gambia should not sit on the periphery. It is time that we actively participate in producing cutting-edge research that will be impactful in society,” said Prof Gomez.
Thus, he called on participants to further share their knowledge and experiences when they return to their various universities and institutions. Similarly, he urged them to prepare to participate in the upcoming calls for proposals of research projects under the Research and Innovation Support Program (PARI Program), a project under the ECOWAS Commission.
The Resident Representative at the ECOWAS Permanent Mission in The Gambia, Mrs. Miatta Lily French spoke on behalf of the President of ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Mr. Oumar Alieu TOURAY, and the Honourable Commissioner in charge of Human Development and Social Affairs, Prof Fatou Sow SARR. In her remarks, Madam French expressed gratitude to His Excellency, Adama Barrow, President of The Republic of The Gambia for his commitment to the integration processes in ECOWAS region in the areas of Education and Science.
Mrs. Lily French also expressed gratitude to the Honorable Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Professor Pierre Gomez, for having facilitated the holding of this significant workshop.
Furthermore, Mrs. Lily French went on to inform that ECOWAS has adopted its new vision called vision 2050. According to her, this vision is based on the reference scenario called “The torch of Africa” which is stated as follows: A fully integrated community of peoples in a peaceful, prosperous region with strong institutions that respect fundamental freedoms and work for inclusive and sustainable development.
She highlighted that in this vision, Science, Technology, and Innovation intend to contribute to transforming all the Member States into countries with intermediate economies with an impact in the socio-economic and environmental sectors. Thus, she added that ECOWAS as an entire people, has the potential to be a pioneer in the march towards the Africa we want in 2063.
Moreover, Mrs. Lily French highlighted that during the ten (10) days of intense work, she observed the commitment of the participants and their determination to take part in the training.
“The training brought researchers from The Gambia from every area to exchange and learn new tools to improve their research work. Seminarians were trained in research writing methodology during the first week. The second week was devoted to project management with a simulation using Microsoft Project software. The workshop will have kept all its promises, to lay the groundwork for active, dynamic, and effective communication between researchers in The Gambia,” said Mrs. Lily French.
In his statement, the Director of Research at MoHERST, James Gomez informed that participants for the training come from major stakeholders in the country so that the capacity of developing a winning research proposal is built, new knowledge in project management and MS project are also learnt. He underlined that this is particularly important for MoHERST as an institution responsible for making The Gambia a Knowledge Based-Economy.
The vote of thanks was delivered by a participant, Mrs. Lala Jaiteh, who is a Senior Research Officer at MoHEST. In her statement, she shared that this is one of the most fruitful and interactive capacity-building training programs ever conducted in drafting research proposal projects for the acquisition of external funding in the Gambia.
“This training workshop has not only enriched our skills and competencies in drafting bankable research proposals, but it has also exposed us to essential techniques, and strategies for managing research projects using MS projects tools,” said Mrs. Jaiteh
Therefore, on behalf of the Ministry of Higher Education Research, Science, and Technology and the participants of the training, she extended a hearty vote of thanks to the entire team of the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja.