By Olimatou Coker
The Gambia is joining other African countries to celebrate Africa Science Week.
The Next Einstein Forum’s (Nef) Africa Science Week (ASW) is Africa’s annual weeklong celebration of science and technology with thousands of individuals – from students, to scientists to technologists – actively engaging in coordinated science events across the second largest continent of the world from 23 to 30 September 2018.
The Gambia is also marking the week with a view to advancing technology and innovation.
At a press conference at the higher education ministry in Bijilo, Gambia Nef ambassador David Jeng said this marks the first time The Gambia is partaking in the initiative.
“We have series of activities and among them is the press conference, science exhibition at the University of the Gambia, two-day hackathon which will be focusing on identifying different problems we are faced with. The idea is to provide an environment where innovation can really grow in the youths. There will be an entrepreneurship boot camp and the idea is to introduce entrepreneurship to scientists and innovators and the fifth activity will be robotics where we look at kids.”
He added: “We want to introduce technology to the younger generation where they will build robots and the robots can expose them to certain things that are really helpful for them when they grow up.”
Mucktar Darboe, representing higher education minister, said his ministry is responsible for the design and implementation of policies related to science, technology and innovation and as such, the week is a priority for them.
“The Einstein science is here to complement the government’s efforts to promoting the appreciation of science and technology. Science, technology and innovation have pivotal role to play in addressing social challenges.
To achieve common development goals for The Gambia, he said priority in investment in science, techonology and innovation was needed.
The CEO of PointClick Technologies Malick Khan, said the only reason other nations are up there is because they invested in science and technology.
“Gambia has smart individuals here but they are not empowered enough or have enough resources”.
Sering Modou Bah from the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure thanked the organisers and reiterated his office’s commitment to supporting science, technology and innovation.