The vice president and minister of Women’s Affairs, Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy on Friday laid the foundation stone for a US$54.3 ultra modern state-of-the-art UTG campus in Faraba Banta village, Kombo East District of the West Coast Region.
The ceremony was graced by cabinet ministers, National Assembly members, representatives from Saudi and Kuwait Funds, IDB, BADEA, OPEC, Diplomatic Corp, UTG students as well as the local communities within the region.
In delivering a statement on behalf of the President, shortly before the laying of the foundation stone, Vice President Njie-Saidy said Gambia is fortunate to have remarkably generous partners and indeed true friends who do not only contribute immensely in terms of resources but also have graciously joined them in spirit of solidarity and commitment, bringing their wisdom and support all the way.
“Their presence here today signifies the bond that connects all of us in higher education and this generous partners contributed a significant amount to the tune of US$39.59 of the total cost of the new UTG complex of US$54.3 million with The Gambia Government’s contribution of US $14.8 million,” VP Njie-Saidy informed the gathering.
These partners, she went on are the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
According to her, these valuable development partners earn the respect and admiration of the Gambian leader for their true love for the country and humanity as a whole. She reminded the gathering that the laying of the new UTG foundation stone is a symbol of empowerment which will have profound and lasting difference on the lives of the people of The Gambia particularly the youth.
She further described the occasion as a giant step towards transforming The Gambia into a knowledge society, thus a society that will undoubtedly thrive on power of knowledge to attain a vibrant economy.
Madam Njie-Saidy said the new UTG campus when completed will not only house about 6, 000 students at any given time but will also serve as an institution of great constellation of excellence in various academic disciplines.
For his part, the vice chancellor of the UTG, Professor, Dr. Faqir Muhammad Anjum said the laying of the foundation stone was yet another milestone for the University and the Government of The Gambia. He described the occasion as a testimony of President Jammeh’s tenacity of purpose and sheer determination to transform the higher education landscape of the country to a level unrivalled not only in the sub-region but Africa as a whole.
Other speakers at the occasion include the minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Dr. Abubacarr Senghore, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development regional manager for West African countries, Thamer Al-Failakawi, Mohammed Aldalilan the representative of SFD, and the deputy governor, West Coast Region, Musa B. Susso amongst a host of others.
by Lamin B. Darboe