FREETOWN (Sierra Leone): Located amid lush rolling hills, the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology’s campus here is being touted as a much welcome addition to the country’s landscape.
Sierra Leone President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, who officially opened the campus yesterday, said the new facility would take tertiary education in the West African country, known for its diamonds and minerals, to new heights.
“This is a response from the government for new demand of human capital in the field of digital technology,” said Dr Koroma, who has gazetted the university as Sierra Leone’s national university of transformation.
He said the opening of the campus marked his government’s dedication to making education a centrepiece of national transformation.
Dr Koroma commended Limkokwing University of Creative Technology founder and president Tan Sri Lim Kok Wing for seeing African countries “for more than the stereotypical image often presented in the media”.
Lim, who was present at the opening held at the campus grounds in Hill Station, said the campus’ main role was to use education to assist in the social and economic transformation of Sierra Leone.
“We have begun that process by creating the most high-tech learning environment to empower students with the latest in digital technology,” he said in his speech.
He said the campus, the result of the first public-private partnership in the field of education between the government and a foreign organisation, will also act to promote the country internationally.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in a message read out at the launch, congratulated Lim on the expansion of the university into Sierra Leone, adding that the opening of the campus also helped bring respect and recognition to Malaysia’s high standard of education globally.
The launch of the campus was also attended by Sierra Leone vice-president Victor Bockarie Foh and Limkokwing University of Creative Technology regional vice-chancellor Prof Cedric Bell.
The campus, which has 1,100 students, started its 2016-2017 academic year on July 6.
The first batch of students was originally enrolled in December 2013, but the devastating Ebola outbreak in the country in May 2014, disrupted work on the new campus.
The country was declared free of Ebola by the World Health Organisation on March 17 last year after which work on the opening of the campus resumed.