The Gambian Robotics Team Secure Visa To The U.S. After Initial Denial

After an their initial visa application was rejected by the U.S. Embassy, the Gambian robotics team has been able to secure visas to participate in the First Global Challenge that will take place in Washington DC. The competition will feature participants from over 160 countries, mostly teenagers between the ages of 15 to 18. The Afghanistan all girls team was also denied visa. We wish the Gambian team success.

The Gambian Robotics team will be going to Washington DC for the First Global Challenge after they were initially denied visa. Photo: Twitter/MaloneBarry

The initial disappointment by a Gambian school’s robotics team after they were denied visas into the U.S has turned to joy after they were granted visas. The other team that was denied visas was the Afghanistan all girls robotics team.

The robotics international competition is organized by First Global. The yearly international robotics challenge is meant to ignite a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) among the more than two billion youths across the world. The non-profit public charity provides the framework for an “olympics”-style robotics challenge where one team from every nation is invited to participate in a global robotics event that builds bridges between high school students with different backgrounds, languages, religions, and customs.

The First Global Challenge will have students from nearly 160 nations across the world that will travel to Washington, D.C. this July to participate in the inaugural game that will be held in different nations each year. Teams are composed of high school students with the goal of increasing their knowledge of STEM so they can become the next generation of scientific leaders who will work together to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Participants of the Exposure Robotics League during the final tournament. Photo: Arthur Musah

The Gambian team, which comprises of five teenage students built a robot for the competition and were already prepared to watch the event through Skype. Their robot was supposed to be shipped off without them. The Gambian team created a ball-sorting machine as its entry into the competition. The competition is open to students between the age of 15 to 18 years. The Gambian team wasn’t given any reason for the rejection of their visa.

The Gambian and Afghanistan team had made headlines earlier in the week after both teams had their visa applications rejected. Since Donald Trump became America’s president, many Africans have been harassed by U.S. immigration officers or turned out of the U.S. at the airport.

The Gambian team went for a second interview, which they said differed greatly from the first interview where they weren’t even allowed to submit the necessary documents needed and were asked one or two questions without being allowed to give further details about what they intended to do.

Visa applications come with a fee of more than $150. This has been a healthy source of revenue for many embassies like the U.S. embassy, which receives tons of visa applications and rejects many, only for applicants to reapply. This is obviously a display of how imbalanced the power relations between many African countries and the U.S. and other western countries are.

Although the students will be traveling without their mentor Moctar Darboe, they will be received by the spokesperson of First Global. We wish the team all the best in the competition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Queen Elizabeth Hires First Ever Black Assistant

Are We Still Slaves? See How White Tourists Are Carried Around In Uganda