UTG holds international conference on impact of COVID-19 pandemic

Mamos Media

By Adama Tine

The University of The Gambia (UTG) under the Directorate of Research and Consultancy and in collaboration with the School of Business and Public Administration on Thursday concluded a two days International Conference at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara Conference Centre on the impact of the Covid- 19 pandemic.

The conference was the first organized by UTG under the theme: “Covid-19 Pandemic, Economics, Health and Education Impacts and Recovery”.

The theme for the conference was motivated by several reasons, one of which is the fact that the pandemic undoubtedly posed one of the greatest health challenges of the 21st century with response that vary across the globe with Gambia not an exception.

“The Gambia and by extension the world, have in the last two years not only experienced an overwhelmingly unprecedented challenge because of the COVID-19 pandemic but subversion which has changed the dynamics of the status quo and has registered mountainous impact on every facet of our lives and whose story would be told for generations to come,” said Professor Pierre Gomez, UTG’s Acting Vice Chancellor.

According to him, it is against these backdrop that this year’s theme, premised on ‘Covid-19 Pandemic- Economics, Health, and Education: Impacts and Recovery’, is apt and could not have come at a better time.

He revealed that the goal of the conference is to create a platform for academics to discuss their research works on issues related to the pandemic for the sake of informing policy.

“Throughout history when we face challenges that are mountainous such that they threaten the basic fabric of our existence, researchers have always taken the lead in the efforts to ask the right question and proffer solutions,” Prof. Gomez said.

He went further to disclose that over D16 million were distributed to lecturers as research grants in order to boost their research capabilities, adding that this year, D43 million is reserved for that purpose.

“I want to give you the assurance that at UTG we are always willing to support initiatives that are geared towards transforming the research landscape in the Gambia as we work towards becoming the powerhouse for innovation and research in The Gambia,” he affirmed.

Mucktarr M.Y Darboe, Director of Science, Technology and Innovation at the Ministry of Higher Education Research Science and Technology (MoHERST) said his ministry supported and facilitated extensive stakeholder engagements through meetings, worked with relevant partners, facilitated data access and negotiated data affordability for faculty and students in tertiary and higher education in the country.

He added that during the difficult and unprecedented times of Covid-19, the government through MoHERST, came up with a stimulus package for Gambian government sponsored and non-government sponsored students studying abroad.

According to him, the package has been the government’s contribution towards the sustenance of those students during the trying times of the pandemic.

AT/COB/DAJ/28/10/21

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