Brussels, October 18, 2021/OACPS: During their visit to The Gambia, from 11 to 15 October 2021, the international group of high-level experts attached to the Policy Support Facility (PSF) conducted in-depth interviews with a wide range of key actors of the national Research and Innovation (R&I) ecosystem to capture significantinsightsandperspectives.

The PSF team met with more than 70 experts and representatives from over 20 institutions and organisations, including governmental institutions, incubators and start-ups, academia and research centers, civil society organisations and international development partners.

The field visit is a major step in the six-month mission of the PSF experts to assist The Gambia in setting up and operationalising a National Innovation Fund.

Accompanied by the PSF Technical Assistance Unit, and working in close collaboration with the national team, led by Mr. Mucktarr M.Y. Darboe, Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Director at the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST), the PSF experts had an informative meeting with Hon. Badara A. Joof, Minister of MoHERST.

The PSF experts also participated in a Stakeholder Engagement Workshop on Friday, 15 October in Banjul, to discuss the main expectations of the Innovation Fund; during which, Mr. Mod A.K. Secka, Permanent Secretary, MoHERST, mentioned, “there is urgent need to strengthen demand for innovation through development and implementation of policy instruments that directly promote innovation activities including projects for technical feasibility studies with the aim of acquiring new or improved products, processes and services designed to raise the economic efficiency, improve innovative potential and technological levels of industries, improve private sector investments, and enhance the dynamics of innovative processes.

Following the field phase and further fine-tuning discussions with the national team, the PSF experts will draft a Policy Recommendation Report (PRR), providing evidence-based recommendations towards the development of this national Innovation Fund. The Report will include step-by-step guidance on how to effectively establish and manage the Fund, including budgetary and legislative requirements.

The Gambia is the third country to benefit from the PSF, an innovative mechanism launched in January 2021 by the OACPS Research and Innovation Programme.

For more information, please download:

Factsheet of the PSF service in Gambia