By Landing Ceesay
The University of the Gambia (UTG) Governing Council has approved the establishment of four (4) centres of Excellence at its 14th Ordinary Meeting on 6thAugust 2022.
The four approved centres of Excellence are the Centre for Transitional Justice and Sustainable Peace; the Centre for Sustainable Development and Policy Studies; the Centre for Food Science & Nutrition; and the International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders (CIFAL Centre) in partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
“These Centres of Excellence are intended to serve as citadels of knowledge in pursuit of the University’s strategic objectives anchored on key pillars- (i) to produce knowledge, (ii) to inform teaching and learning, and (iii) to apply knowledge in specific areas to facilitate development through socio-economic and environmental transformation, working with various stakeholders such as Government, the private sector, civil society and national and international development partners,” UTG said in a statement.
UTG said it is in response to the Government’s call for partnership and to leverage the Gambia’s leading role in operationalizing the relatively new concept of Transitional Justice that the University of The Gambia has established the Centre of Excellence in Transitional Justice and Sustainable Peace.
It further stated that the centre would work with government and other stakeholders to contribute to the human and institutional capacity development and the formulation of policies and strategies to support the Government of The Gambia’s framework for Transitional Justice and sustainable peace, as a principal pillar for political stability and social cohesion to facilitate inclusive development.
The specific objectives of the centre for transitional justice and sustainable peace are: to offer courses and short, medium- and long-term training to students and other stakeholders in collaboration with partner universities, and institutes in Africa and around the world; to conduct research to generate knowledge, and offer policy and strategic advice to government, other partners and countries in the sub-region and the African Continent; and to become a regional thought leadership centre for transitional justice and sustainable peace that will attract students, scholars, and practitioners from The Gambia and around the world.
“The Office of the Vice Chancellor is working closely with several partners and takes this opportunity to solicit support from development partners to ensure the full operationalization of the centre by the early part of 2023. If you are interested in supporting the work of the Centre please contact the Office of the Vice Chancellor (firstname.lastname@example.org),” UTG said in a statement.
The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission (TRRC), which was established by an act of the National Assembly of The Gambia and launched in October 2018 has gained international acclaim and recognition as an exemplary model for transitional justice.
Following the submission of the TRRC’s final report, the Government of The Gambia issued a white paper in response to the recommendations of the report, and is seeking partnership to follow through on the commitments in the white paper, as part of the transitional justice and sustainable peace process.