Dr Abdourahmane Diouf estimates the needs at 125 billion FCFA

Dr Abdourahmane Diouf estimates the needs at 125 billion FCFA
Dr Abdourahmane Diouf estimates the needs at 125 billion FCFA

Last weekend, Dr. Abdourahmane Diouf, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, concluded his tour of Senegalese public universities at the Université Gaston Berger (UGB) in Saint-Louis (North). The purpose of the visit was to diagnose the problems facing these institutions. At the UGB, the Minister identified several challenges common to the country’s universities, including budgetary difficulties, lack of staff and unfinished projects.

During his visit, Dr. Diouf stressed that all public universities in Senegal share three major problems: the budget, staff recruitment and completion of projects. “The biggest problem is the budget. All universities in Senegal have a budget problem,” he said. According to Sud Quotidien, in 2024, universities only received funds for nine (9) months, leading to slow operation of these establishments.

The minister also mentioned that many construction sites are 80% complete and ready to be handed over. “Most of the construction sites, whether it is the marquees, are already finished and they just need to be handed over to be able to hold lectures there that can accommodate up to 1,500 students,” he said.

To resolve staffing problems, Dr Diouf announced the recruitment of 1,500 teachers, aiming to fill the current deficit. As for financial needs, he estimates that a budget of 125 billion FCFA is necessary to resolve in the short term the challenges encountered by public universities.

During his visit to UGB, Dr Diouf was also challenged by students on daily issues such as access to water, WiFi and accommodation. Students expressed concerns about sanitation and promiscuity within the social campus.

Responding to these concerns, the minister promised to work on these issues. “We met with all the components of the university because it is part of our approach to be inclusive. We listened to them,” he said.

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