ECOWAS Organizes Capacity Building Workshop for Researchers in The Gambia10 Mar, 2023
The Department of Human Development and Social Affairs at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST) of The Gambia, organised a capacity building workshop on Research Writing Methodologies and Research Projects. This training programme is being held from March 6-17, 2023 at the MoHERST Conference Hall in Bijilo.
The capacity building activity aims to train researchers on drafting research methodologies and research projects for funding from partners according to international standards. This Training of Trainers (TOT) is to allow the creation of a critical mass of researchers in the public sector. Trained researchers will in turn be responsible for building the capacity of other researchers in the country.
The Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Professor Pierre Gomez, who officially opened the workshop on March 7, 2023 extended the gratitude of His Excellency Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of The Gambia to ECOWAS, for answering the Ministry’s clarion call to help build The Gambia’s capacities on the new rules of drafting research projects for the acquisition of external funding. “The aim of this training is to create a critical mass of researchers in the public sectors who would later embark on a step-down training to a larger group of stakeholders,” the Honourable Minister stated, adding that about 30 researchers in The Gambia would be benefiting from that important training.
The Minister urged participants to capitalise on the opportunity offered to gain relevant skills in identifying the constraints and learning solutions related to fund-seeking methodologies and MS Project skills writing. Furthermore, Prof Gomez disclosed that MoHERST was now implementing various projects structured within the country’s development blueprint such as Agriculture, food security and nutrition, climate-resilient economy, research science technology and innovation, digital economy, gender, youths and inclusive development. This he said was part of the Ministry’s effort to bring about structural transformation is both knowledge-driven and capital-intensive.
“Setting up a poll of researchers and challenging them to learn new ways of sourcing funds for the sector is a precondition for our survival and development, for the preservation of our sovereignty as a nation, as a continent and as a people” concluded the Minister, Hon. Gomez.
The Permanent Secretary of MoHERST, Dr Yusupha Touray who chaired the Opening Ceremony stressed the importance for researchers in The Gambia to be trained on key research methodologies and projects in order to attract funding.
Dr Roland KOUAKOU, Head of Division, Scientific Research and Innovation at ECOWAS, represented the Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs at the ECOWAS Commission, Professor Fatou Sow Sarr. In his statement, he highlighted that ECOWAS had always considered science and technological innovation as essential areas for initiating the socio-economic and cultural development and competitiveness of its Member States. He complained of the poor public funding and the low investment in research and development, while recalling that emerging countries were at more than 1% of their GDP, the threshold recommended by the African Union. It is within that framework that the capacity-building training of researchers in the field of writing research projects and scientific writing was thus organised in The Gambia, as explained by Dr Kouakou. Similar training had already taken place in Benin, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Niger and Senegal. The next country to benefit is the Togolese Republic, and this to give meaning of the ECOWAS vision of the people, he proudly stated.
In Closing, Dr Kouakou, on behalf of the Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs at the ECOWAS Commission, Professor Fatou Sow Sarr, expressed the gratitude of ECOWAS to the Honourable Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology in The Gambia, Professor Pierre Gomez, for his active leadership in facilitating the organisation of that important capacity building workshop for Researchers in The Gambia.
The Consultants for this training are Professor Kouassi Marcel Aka, Professor Mrs. Drame Yaye Aissetou from ECOWAS and Dr Hamedou Jawara from The University of The Gambia and Mr. Clifford Shegun Hughes a Local Consultant in The Gambia.