The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Research Centre for Islamic History, Arts and Culture (IRCICA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MOHERST) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for The Gambia to host conference on Islamic civilisation in mid-2016. The signing ceremony was held at the ministry’s office in Kotu at the Futurelec Building, and the MoU defined the roles of each of the parties involved, including the Gambia government, IRCICA and Turkey.
Prof. Dr. Halit Eren, Director General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation Research Centre for Islamic History, Arts and Culture (IRCICA), said IRCICA is an inter-Governmental organization of the OIC cultural centre based in Istanbul, Turkey. He said IRCICA as the centre of the OIC is organising activities all over the world not only in the member countries, but also in non-member countries and in the regions were Muslim communities are found.
Prof. Dr. Halit Eren also said this would be the 2nd conference in West Africa as the first was held in Dakar, Senegal, adding that during the conference they would have a scholar’s symposium, academic symposium and so on, and they would invite all scholars from the regions and all over the world. The MoU would bring a new start between IRCICA and The Gambia and they would focus on other activities in the coming years as it was endorsed by President Yahya Jammeh about two years ago, he said.
Dr. Abubacarr Senghore, Minister of High Education Research Science and Technology, said it was not surprising for Turkey to be a genuine friend of The Gambia and Africa at large. The difference between the one that would be held in The Gambia and one held in Senegal is that the conference to be held in The Gambia is going to cover the entire landscape of Islamic civilization.
He said Banjul had over the years hosted many conferences, but this one was very unique, adding that it is a very important event and they are grateful to IRCICA as it is a very big opportunity for them. They would also try to observe the culture and scientific relations, and want to establish and improve relations not only in the field of politics and economy, but also in the field of culture, research, education, science and technology, the ambassador continued.
Ambassador Soner said they are grateful for the contributions of the IRCICA and also the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, adding that they are determined to improve bilateral relations between Turkey and Gambia, but also relations especially in Sub-Saharan countries in the field of science, research, technology and education.
Cherno Omar Barry, Perm Sec for MOHERST, said the visit is a follow up following a governmental agreement between the ministry and the centre, and also the Government of Turkey, to host in The Gambia the fourth international congress of Islamic civilization in West Africa as they are realizing all the commitments and promises made during a visit led by the Minister of Higher Education to Turkey.
He said the purpose of the meeting was to sign an agreement that had already being established for a while now, which was going to allow The Gambia to host the International Congress on Islamic Civilization in West Africa and the congress is going to be a platform for sharing their knowledge, research on issues related to Islam, Islamic civilization, Arabic influence in Africa as well as a host of other areas of interest.