CREATING AN INNOVATION-BASED SYSTEM IN THE GAMBIA

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By: Muhamed Lamin Ceesay

The Gambia government has realized that the way forward for socioeconomic development isn’t only through the exploitation of natural resources or imposing taxes but by creating a mass population that is skilled and knowledgeable.

For that reason, promoting innovation and entrepreneurship has been the main focus of the new government. This has led to the Barrow administration to take the following three major steps to promote innovation & entrepreneurship.

TRANSFORMATION OF GTTI TO USET

The Gambia Technical Training Institution (GTTI) was established in 1980 by the Jawara government to provide technical and vocational trainings to Gambians. To do better, the need for more creative and competitive training are required in today’s society. As a result, the Gambia government decided to transform the then GTTI to a University of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology(USET). This change is aimed at developing a new generation of Gambians that are well equipped with knowledge and skills — to become entrepreneurs that will generate innovative ideas for the wellbeing of our societies.

IMPLEMENTATION OF COURSES ON INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

In this day and age, knowledge is invaluable and a sine qua non for any country aiming for development. It is therefore essential that such knowledge are backed by innovation and entrepreneurship. Thereby, creating a culture of creativity and competitiveness among young people for newer products and services which are key for the betterment of our health, social and environmental conditions. This ensures a knowledge-based economy which facilitates wealth creation and growth in socioeconomic dynamics of the world.

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NATIONAL RESEARCH & INNOVATION FUND

The provision of funding to researchers and innovators is the right step towards development. Because ideas require to be tested and deeply understood. But for that to happen, there must be financial support for those engage in it. The Gambia government’s implementation of such policy is commendable and would go a long way to promote beneficial research activities in the Gambia and beyond. From agriculture, medicine, climate change, renewable energy and many more — would be effectively researched & improved.

All in all, The Gambia government has took significant strides which are praiseworthy. It is my earnest wish that they all register great success.

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