|HUMAN RESSOURCES, INVESTING IN THE PEOPLE|
As the availability of a well-educated and healthy workforce serves to attract foreign investments, The Gambia is bolstering up efforts at upgrading the education and health facilities in order to achieve the objectives of its Vision 2020. On one hand, it is establishing numerous health and education institutions while encouraging private-sector participation on the other. For the first time, The Gambia has a University manned by internationally acclaimed experts. Before founding the University of The Gambia, the country went through a three-year University Extension Programme with St'Mary's University, Halifax, Canada as a pilot project. Added to the University are numerous projects aimed at upgrading existing institutions and bringing them to international standards.
The Gambia has also witnessed an increase in the number of its health institutions while bodies and institutes such as UNICEF and Medical Research Council (MRC) have a strong base in the country.
The government's commitment is shown by its decision to list investments in skills development under the grace investments enjoying choice incentives, hoping that investors might be interested in developing centers for specialized skills and vocational training. "As the rest of the world is developing new technologies and as international competition gets fiercer, we'll have no chance of getting through the 21st century without sufficient education and training", says President Yahya Jammeh, explaining the rationale behind the government's commitment to improving The Gambia's knowledge base. "Education is our priority", adds Finance Secretary of State, Famara Jatta, "which commands 27% of our budget and so is health."