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President Barrow Leads Inauguration of UTG Lot 1 Project: A Milestone in Gambian Education 

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H.E Adama Barrow, President Of The Gambia

By Landing Ceesay

The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science, and Technology (MOHERST) along with its partners celebrated the completion of the first phase of development at the University of The Gambia’s Faraba Bantang Campus on Saturday. 

The event was attended by President Adama Barrow, who officiated the ceremony.

Lot 1 of the UTG Faraba Bantang campus comprises several essential facilities including the School of ICT, School of Education, School of Business and Public Administration, School of Arts and Sciences, Library, Step-Down Electrical Substation, Water Treatment Plant, Waste-Water Treatment Plant, and modern instructional resources conducive to effective teaching and learning. 

The newly inaugurated UTG Faraba Bantang Campus boasts modern amenities such as updated restroom facilities, air conditioning in offices and auditoriums, ceiling fans in classrooms, and the installation of projectors for enhanced educational delivery. 

In his inauguration address, President Barrow acknowledged the challenges previously faced by UTG and expressed relief that the inauguration of UTG Lot 1 marks the resolution of those challenges. 

“At last, after twenty -four years of existence, the UTG now has a permanent home. The bitter experience of students trekking to and from rented halls and makeshift classrooms or, sometimes, attending classes under trees is now history. We thank and praise Allah, the Almighty, for this ground-breaking achievement.” the President said.

The President of The Gambia, who also serves as the Chancellor of the University of The Gambia (UTG), asserts that his administration has integrated education into the nation’s sustainable development agenda. 

“Great and appropriate as this declaration is for the African continent, my government had already paid attention to the intricate link between education and socio-economic development and had already reflected this in our national development plans. 

“While the declaration will strengthen our resolve in this endeavour, these magnificent university structures will not only add to the glamour and performance of the UTG as a learning centre to reckon with on the continent, but also complement the other laudable initiatives in the education sector,” President Barrow said. 

President Barrow has expressed his government’s significant progress towards achieving the nation’s goals for post-secondary education reform.

Prof. Herbert Robinson, the Vice Chancellor of UTG, elaborated on various programs offered under Lot 1 of UTG, along with the state-of-the-art infrastructure.

Chairman Mathew P. Ndure of the UTG Governing Board assured President Barrow and donors of the Council’s full commitment to sustaining the new campus.

In the meantime, Eman Al Abdul Razzaq, Deputy Director General of the Kuwaiti Fund, disclosed her country’s financial contribution to the construction of UTG Lot 1.

“The importance of this project is clearly evident in supporting the social and economic development in The Gambia, by improving the high education sector to meet the increasing demand by the people on this sector, and to fulfill The Gambia’s future needs of the required specialized staff in different scientific fields. The Project has been divided into two packages, fixed and optional due to financing constrains, in which the fixed package was divided into two lots, Lot 1, and Lot 2.

The Kuwait Fund participated in financing the construction of Lot 1 with a concessional Loan of 4.0 Million K.D., which includes major structures of the University of the Gambia Faraba Banta Campus Project, such as the Art and Sciences, Education, Business Administration, and Information Technology and Communication Colleges, in addition to the external works of roadway system, the Parking and utilities, with a total cost of about 37.3 Million US Dollars,” she told the gathering. 

Representatives from various funding agencies, such as the Saudi Fund for Development, Islamic Development Bank, and Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, among others, attended the event, emphasizing their organizations’ contributions to the construction of UTG Lot 1.

After opening UTG Lot 1, President Barrow laid the first stone for UTG Lot 2, which will host the Law Faculty, the Journalism School, and the Digital Media School.

UTG, the country’s top educational institution, has struggled with many problems since its creation in 1999, such as not having enough classrooms for some of its schools. These problems have negatively affected the quality of education at UTG.

But the finishing of Lot 1 has eased this pressure for students, staff, and management, greatly enhancing the educational environment at UTG.

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