By Yusef Taylor, @FlexDan_YT
The Chief Executive Officer of the Indian Institute of Hardware Technology (IIHT) the Gambia told Gainako News he always had the vision to turn “this country to a semi–Silicon Valley of the sub-Saharan region”. IIHT Gambia graduated some 160 students on Information Technology related courses at Baobab Hotel on Sunday 27th June 2021. Silicon Valley is a well-known place in the San Francisco Bay Area in the United States of America which serves as a world leader in high technology and innovation. It is a very wealthy area that generates huge revenue for the United States.
Back from the United States where he resides, Mr Bah said “we can do it, we have to believe in ourselves and we need the support which starts from home, from the government and within ourselves.”
In his view “it’s, not just you alone or your mum alone or the government cannot do it by themselves. The government cannot do much. The government can create policies that can make this much easier to get these things running and affordable and achievable. This is what we need from any government in place whether it’s the current one or the next one. We need a policy that will open the gateway for us.”
“We started Baytech last year, 2020, it’s a software company fully integrated with any kind of system you want us to build for you. We can build it. Right now, have three systems that are off cell we built which is hospital management tool management system and also point of sales system built in it. With payroll, HR all these tools that help companies run their system and business efficiently and effectively.”
Speaking about the confidence in his students to produce life-changing solutions Mr Bah said “that’s why I’m hiring some of them because I have four projects for 2022 that the country will see and it will be an eye-opener for the Gambia.”
160 Students Graduated – Its About Changing Lives
Speaking about the number of students that IIHT Gambia had trained since its inception two years ago Mr Ousman Bah, said: “780 students [had] complete its six months program and have earned their certificate” since its inception two years ago.”
Recalling where they started Mr Bah said “it is absolutely unbelievable that in my first year we had only 58 and today we 160 students graduating today this evening. I think this is a great milestone for us and I feel very honoured and at the same time, I can’t express how proud I am to be a Gambian and see my Gambian fellow doing great like we see today. They were demonstrating the technical support, graphic design and web development”.
Explaining his emotions seeing his students graduate Mr Bah said “I almost cried, this is what life is all about making an impact in people’s lives. That’s what success is all about. It’s not about just your bank account or a big house or driving a fancy car it’s about making a difference in people’s lives and I feel today we have achieved some of that and we’re going to continue to do that”.
Leaders Should Have Vision
When asked about the leadership qualities that are needed to create more jobs and counter the backway syndrome that he spoke about in his speech he spoke at length about discipline and a long-term vision for the country. In his view “leadership is about being flexible, leadership is about understanding the vision and the mission of what you are trying to accomplish to day.”
Speaking about the Gambia he opined that “our leadership needs to focus on where we want to see our country in the next 30 to 45 years to come and if only if we focus on that and put a framework with these kids like today that we can achieve that. But the only way they can do that is to show them that they can be anything that they want. The opportunity is endless.”
Speaking on grassroots leadership Mr Bah opined that “leadership starts from home. We have to teach our kids how to be disciplined, how to embrace change, how to be tolerant regardless of where you come from what your last name is and what part of the country you live in.”
“It can’t just be one person, it’s a collective effort I think that’s where we should start. But also, the kids are assets for us and we need to do everything we can to help them. You never know the person you help might just be the next President”.