ECOWAS organizes training for 30 Researchers in The Gambia

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By Joyce Remi-Babayeju

The Department of Human Development and Social Affairs at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science, and Technology (MoHERST) of The Gambia, organized a capacity building workshop on Research Writing Methodologies and Research Projects for Researchers.

The Capacity building programme which runs from March 6-17, 2023 at the MoHERST Conference Hall in Bijilo is a Train of Trainer, ToT, programme aimed at training researchers on drafting research methodologies and research projects for funding from partners according to international standards.

Furthermore, the 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 appreciated 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.

Professor Gomez said, “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, adding that about the 30 researchers in The Gambia would be benefiting from that important training.

He urged participants to use the 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.

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, and for preservation of our sovereignty as a nation, a continent and a people, Gomez stressed.

The Permanent Secretary of MoHERST, Dr Yusupha Touray who chaired the Opening Ceremony emphasized that the importance of training Researchers in The Gambia on ways of attracting funds for research methodologies and projects.

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 noted that ECOWAS had always considered science and technological innovation as essential areas for initiating the socio-economic and cultural development and competitiveness among Member States.

Kouakou decried the poor public funding and the low investment in research and development.

He explained that similar training had already taken place in Benin, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Niger and Senegal, adding that the Togolese Republic is the next in line.

The training Consultants 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.

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