Alimatou S Bajinka
The University of The Gambia Students’ Union (UTGSU) received D1.1 million funding from Migration Sustainable Development in The Gambia (MSDG), a diaspora technical cooperation project.
Ousman Jassey, President of the 19th Executive Council of University of The Gambia Students’ Union welcomed the announcement on Monday.
“MSDG has given the UTG a sum of D1.1 million.
“The money would be used for investment. It is going to be put in an investment account, and the union is going to be involved in fund raising activities; and other fundraising schemes, so that the revenue that is going to be generated from the investments would go back to the students in the form of a scholarship.
“The idea is not to only give scholarships to students once, but to have it on a semesterly and yearly basis; so that it becomes a sustainable project that is going to form part of an important institution and exercise of the UTG,” the UTGSU President said.
Narrating the background of the funding, President Jassey said the process started last year when the union gave scholarships to students, which attracted the attention of individuals nationally and internationally.
He continued that because of the scholarship, the union had contact with Prof. Gibril Faal at the London School of Economics (LSE) through which the funding came about.
Meanwhile, Mr. Musa Sidibeh, representative, Migration Sustainable Development in The Gambia, talked on how the endowment funds had helped other universities and can help the UTG.
“IV league universities around the world are one of the richest institutions and the base of their wealth started from [the] endowment funds. That is the same idea we would like to replicate here. We just hope that the endowment fund would serve as a gateway to allow other donors to come in and also the fund raising, so that students would benefit,” he said.
Dr. Habibatou Drammeh, Director of student affairs, on behalf of the UTG management said the initiative benefits would benefit many students.
“We are hopeful that this initiative would succeed. It will undoubtedly benefit lots of underprivileged students of the university of The Gambia who are really smart but cannot afford university education.
“This initiative will complement the efforts of the university and the Gambian government at large in supporting its citizenry and of course other people that deserve support.
I am convinced that the SU is soon ready to undertake fund raising activities as I have been told and also to work with all the donors,” Drammeh said.
Mariama Danso, Vice President, UTG Student Union, extended gratitude to the donors for the gesture and called on other institutions to assist the UTG to ensure quality education for all.
“We are really proud and thankful.But the message we want to send out there is that, part of our challenge has been solved by the MSDG; but we have other great factors and sectors that could be looked at. We want to challenge every institution that is out there within and outside the country that can come to the aid of UTG to ensure quality education for all,” she said.
MSDG is a diaspora-led Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) developed and implemented by GK Partners (GKP) in partnership with The Gambia Government, but co-financed by GKP and the Swiss Government, with in-kind support from The Gambia Government, according to the MSDG website.