The Vice Chancellor and Principal of Njala University College Prof. Abu Sesay has said that Njala University will soon be a world class University, adding that the college is blessed to be partnering with two world class Universities, Cambridge and Wageningen.
He made this statement during the opening session of a three days training workshop organized by Wageningen University, the University of Cambridge and Njala University Sierra Leone on impact evaluation assessment at the Njala University conference room Mokonde from 28th to 30th January 2013.
The workshop targeted staff of Njala University, Social Science students from Njala University College Bo campus, environmental science and agriculture student at Njala University, some American students from the University of Illinois, Non Governmental Organizations, Conservation Society of Liberia and Sierra Leone, Gola Rainforest National Park (GRNP) and Across the River a Trans-boundary Peace Park Project (ARTP) for Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Prof. Abu Sesay says the objective of the workshop is to actually prepare Njala staff, students and others that would be involved in the execution of the Njala, Wageningen and Cambridge project on rural transformation. He said the project has a tripartite union of partnership with Wageningen and Cambridge Universities that has resulted into a project for rural transformation and just to ensure that they achieve success in the implementation.
He says the workshop is going to teach about the methods of evaluating projects and he encouraged all and sundry to treat the process with all the seriousness it deserves. Prof Sesay says the session is not just to enhance their research capacity but hopping that that enhancement will lead to a lot of papers so that their Curriculum Vitae (CV) will be enriched and the learning will be translated into publications.
He welcomed all partners and friends to NUC campus the main campus of the University, adding they are in the process of rebuilding the campus that was destroyed during the civil war and it was abandoned for 15years.
In his contribution Prof. Paul Richards of Njala University disclosed that the program is a three years program with funding from British government and other agencies – DFID, British Aid program and 3 I.E which has interest in Impact Evaluation and the Cambridge Conservation Society with the aim of seeing some better training in Sierra Leone so that the students and lecturers will have the kind of skills to do the work by showing how the project can forge ahead. He says the current workshop is the beginning of a three year program, and there will be a follow up workshop next year in January and they will come back with the same people to make the next course more advanced than this one, then the following year there will be another training again. We are trying to improve the quality of projects that have been implemented in the country like the micro credit, seed marketing and the Gola Rainforest National Park.
“Some time they send money for projects but they usually do not hit the target. To see whose target you are going to hit to give benefit to the people that the money is meant for. How to improve on the way they do the work” he said.
Prof. Erwid Bulte and Prof Robert Lewsink from Wageningen University, Dr. Andreas Kontolen and Dr. Maarten Voors from the University of Cambridge and Prof. Abu Sesay, Prof. Paul Richards and Ms. Esther Mokuwa from the Njala University facilitated the workshop.
By Saffa Moriba