Cabinet Ministers on Thursday 04th July 2019, has approved transforming the Gambia Technical Training Institute into a University of Engineering, Science, and Technology (UEST).
According to the statement from statehouse, the approval was made during the sixth cabinet session presided over by President Adama Barrow. This proposal was brought forward by the Ministry of Higher Education.
“The transformation of the GTTI into a University is expected to create opportunities to address the high level skills gaps within the country’s workforce,” Information Minister Ebrima Sillah said in a statement to the media at the end of their Cabinet deliberations.
‘‘The transformation will also accord the emerging University to retain its current responsibilities to augment and improve the quality and relevance of these programs. It will strengthen technical certificate and diploma levels and will respond to critical needs of students who will take up degree programs in Science, Engineering and Technology,’’ Minister Sillah explained.
He said Cabinet also discussed and approved other key issues, among them the Master plan and proposed development project of the Banjul sea port, the management of bird and wildlife hazard of the Banjul Airport, waste management development and control program for the Airport, the Gambia’s leading legal action against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice to ensure accountability and justice for the gross violations of the rights of Rohingya Muslims, among others.
Below is the full text of the statement:
‘‘At the conclusion of the 6th Cabinet Meeting held on Thursday 4th July 2019, Cabinet deliberated on a paper presented by the Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure on the National Launching of the GPA Master plan and the 4th Banjul Port Development project.
The new Master plan aims to address the capacity improvement needs in order to enhance the Port’s competitiveness and contribution towards the achievements of the National Development Plan (NDP) and the National Transport Policy (NTP 2018 – 2027).
The Master plan and the proposed Port development project are expected to take the Port of Banjul and indeed the country to another level as the traffic forecast will increase remarkably, leaving a positive impact on the overall economic development of the country.
The Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure also presented an information paper on the way forward on the challenges of bird/wildlife hazard management at Banjul International Airport.
The Minister of Works recommended the following measures to mitigate the risks posed by birds and wildlife to aircraft at the Banjul International Airport.
To review land allocation around the airport and where necessary, control land use; To finalize the airport lease with emphasis on increasing the buffer area; To develop a waste management and control program to eliminate existing waste dumps and to prevent the establishment of new waste disposal sites within a 13 km radius of the airport boundary; also to set up a national aviation wildlife hazard management committee that will include representatives of officials from Government departments engaged in environment and conservation as well as bird and wildlife organizations, and agencies and aviation stakeholders.
Cabinet endorsed the recommendations by the Minister of Works to reinforce efforts to manage the hazards posed by birds and wildlife to aircraft at the Banjul International Airport, and to reduce the risks to aircraft and air travel passengers.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice presented a paper on the OIC proposal for the Gambia to lead an International legal action against Myanmar, at the International Court of Justice. It would be recalled that at its 45th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers held in Bangladesh, the OIC setup an ad hoc Ministerial Committee on Accountability for Human Rights Violations against the Rohingyas. The Gambia was unanimously selected as chairperson of the said ad hoc committee.
Some of the responsibilities of the ad hoc Ministerial Committee is to ensure accountability and justice for the gross violations of international human right abuses against the Rohingyas. The committee is also to assist in information gathering and evidence collection as well as mobilize and coordinate international political support for accountability for human rights violations against the Rohingya Muslims.
Cabinet has approved the appointment of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to represent the Gambia throughout the proceedings at the ICJ.
The Minister of Interior also presented a paper on the Gambia’s National Migration Policy (NMP) 2019. The Policy among other things aims to manage migration in a manner that contributes to national development including the promotion of diaspora engagement and reduction of the brain drain and its potential impacts. The policy seeks to ensure the protection of vulnerable Gambian migrants and immigrants in the Gambia and work towards the eradication of human trafficking and smuggling while at the same time, encourage the participation of Gambians abroad in economic activities at home through foreign direct investments and social remittances. Cabinet endorsed the NMP and some insightful suggestions.
Cabinet also endorsed a paper presented by the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology to transform the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI), into a University of Science, Engineering, and Technology. The transformation of the GTTI into a University will accord the emerging University to retain its current responsibilities to augment and improve the quality and relevance of these programs. The transformation will also strengthen technical skills at certificate and diploma levels while responding to critical needs of students at degree programs in Sciences, Engineering and Technology. The transformation of the GTTI into a University of Science, Engineering, and Technology is expected to create opportunities to address the high-level skills gaps within the country’s workforce.