All MDI Business and Entrepreneurial related education, training, research and consultancy are now concentrated on the MDI campus in Kanifing since September, 2009. MDI continues to use UTG faculty to teach in our programmes and this has strengthened our teaching and improved our credibility. MDI also collaborates on research, consulting and tailor-made programmes with institutions Research, Consultancy and Professional Development Center at MDI. We sincerely hoping to ensure the rationalization and optimal use of scarce physical, human and financial resources, thereby having a greater impact on capacity building, employment creation and socio-economic development.
Resource Mobilization and Partnerships
The year 2011-2012 was the year of partnerships and resource mobilization. MDI has embarked on an aggressive resource mobilization campaign to supplement the revenues we receive from student tuitions and Government subventions. MDI partnered with the Islamic Development Bank through Gamworks under the Technical Assistance Agreement (Grant) on Capacity Building in Project Management and the African Development Bank through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs under the auspices of the Institutional Support for Economic and Financial Governance II Project.
MDI signed an MOU with the Social Development Fund (SDF) Entrepreneurship and Micro Finance Project (EPMDP) under the SDF on July 21, 2010, to cover minor rehabilitation and equipment of facilities and start-up operations, scholarships, a business incubator programme, advisory services to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneurship lectures, etc. and to deliver Micro and Small Enterprise Promotion Training (MSEPT) courses once in 2010, and twice each in 2011 and 2012 with an expected outreach of 140 trainees, of which at least 50% will be female. The funds are received in tranches. In 2011-2012, MDI continued with the implementation of grant activities.
MDI is committed to improve entrepreneurship training in The Gambia. MDI firmly believes entrepreneurship is a gateway to opportunities for those traditionally excluded from mainstream economic and political activities. Entrepreneurship is the link between ideas, resources, and daring individuals resulting in sustainable economic development. The Gambia needs entrepreneurs with creative business concepts and the courage to turn these concepts into sustainable enterprises, which can create jobs while also providing society with needed products and services. However, most small businesses fail to achieve meaningful growth, are marginally profitable, and operate as “hand-to-mouth” types of ventures.
With the assistance of the SDF-EPMDP, MDI launched a Diploma in MSEPT, which started in February 2010. The first batch graduated eleven (11) students, whiles the second batch graduated seventeen (17) students. This class ran from November 5 2010 to July 2011. The third batch commenced on September 7, 2011 and ended August 30, 2012 and was made up of twenty-four (24) students. The 4th cohort started in October 2012 and consisted of fifty (50) candidates, twelve (12) females and thirty-eight (38) males. All female students are awarded scholarships. Eighteen (18) males were also awarded scholarships and the remaining being fee-paying.
Consultancies and Research
In 2009/2010, the Institute benefitted from a UNDP grant to establish and staff a new Consultancy and Research Division, MDI/UTG Consulting. During the period under review (2011-2012), MDI/UTG consulting was awarded over twenty-five (25) assignments. Thirteen (13) of these have been completed while the remaining twelve (12) are being implemented or awaiting implementation.
In addition to the above consultancy assignments, the Institute through the consultancy division has signed a number of Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with government and non-government organizations. These arrangements attest to the quality of our delivery and signify the commitment on the side of our clients to contract our service.
Following internal strengthening efforts by organizing Training of Trainers (TOT) courses and sponsoring our faculty and staff to attend workshops and conferences abroad, the Institute bidded and successfully implemented more than ten (10) training and consultancy assignments, benefiting both Government and non-government employees, in 2011-2012. Over five hundred (500) adult learners successfully completed our short-courses, with sixty percent (60%) coming from Government institutions and the remaining forty percent (40%) from the private sector, NGOs and international agencies within the country. The three hundred (300) public servants who have benefitted from our trainings represent a significant push in the Government’s efforts to build its human resource.
Like other Institutions based consultancy firms, MDI Consulting enjoys an extended pool of intellectuals from within and outside the country. Partnerships for growth, efficiency, effectiveness and timeliness in service delivery are core to our overall strategy. In this light, we continue to partner the consultancy division with institutions and individuals around the world who share our institutional values. We are in partnership with consultancy firms in Nigeria, Ghana, Canada and UK. This has extended our market and source of experts and has added great value to our work, while boosting our revenue base. Individual consultants from Government and private sector continue to serve as associates in various assignments, thereby strengthening our project teams.
In the year 2011-2012, we have also partnered with Consultants from Ghana Institute of Public Administration (GIMPA) and local private consultants in delivering two major training programmes in Project Management and Procurement Management to the staff of IDB-funded project in the country funded by IDB and GoTG.