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GAMBIA: Teens denied US visa for robotics competition

Five teenage pupils from The Gambia who built a robot for a prestigious international competition in the United States will not be able to accompany…

Five teenage pupils from The Gambia who built a robot for a prestigious international competition in the United States will not be able to accompany their invention to the event after being denied a visa.

The Gambian pupils become the second team of students refused entry to the US to attend the FIRST Global robotics event in Washington, DC, on July 16-18. On Saturday, it was reported that an all-girls team from Afghanistan were also denied a visa to travel to the US to showcase their creation at the same competition.

Moktar Darboe, director of The Gambia’s ministry of higher education, research, science and technology, told Al Jazeera that the team, made up of high school pupils aged 17-18, were “very disappointed”.

“They put in so much effort into building this, and now, after all the sacrifice and energy they put in, they have been left disheartened,” Darboe, who is also the team’s mentor, said on Monday.

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