The Acting Secretary-General Gisa Fuatai Purcell welcomed Honourable Ebrima Sillah, Minister of Information, Communication and Infrastructure, of Gambia and Kalifa Bojang, Deputy Head of Mission, from the High Commission of Gambia, to the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) headquarters on 6 August 2018.
The purpose of the meeting was to exchange information and ideas on how the CTO can assist on-going efforts, by the Gambian government, in strengthening and improving Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and related services to its citizens.
Gambia is glad to be back in the Commonwealth and looks forward to engage and partner with the CTO in supporting the work of the Commonwealth, especially in ICT related focus areas. The government of Gambia continues to invest heavily in re-building its ICT infrastructure and faces a number of challenges.
Some of the notable challenges discussed include the need to review and establish relevant ICT regulations, policies and legislations. Gambia also needs both technical and capacity development assistance in ICT, especially in the public sector.
The CTO was pleased with the acceptance by the Honourable Minister Ebrima Sillah for Gambia join the CTO. This will go a long way to enhance Gambia’s ICT ambitions and support in expanding the fibre optic infrastructure and enabling affordable access to high-speed broadband across the country.
During the meeting, the CTO pledged to support Gambia in developing both its National Cybersecurity Strategy and Broadband Strategy. The CTO will also engage and assist the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) in Gambia to establish a competitive regulatory environment within the telecommunication sector.
“The Gambia is making great strides in ICT development for its citizens,” said Gisa Fuatai Purcell. “From expanding broadband access, to strengthening cybersecurity, Gambia is committed to ensuring that it makes the best use of ICTs in order to enhance the socio-economic development of its people and I would like to commend the government on this progress.”
“We are very happy to participate and be part of the CTO’s ICT initiatives within the Commonwealth, as a Full Member Country,” said Kalifa Bojang. “We look forward to forge common efforts to achieve greater impact in using ICTs and enhancing digital inclusion of our respective countries.”
“Members of the CTO greatly benefit from knowledge and experience sharing, and therefore Gambia’s membership will help strengthen its efforts in developing ICTs and telecommunication sector. The CTO is committed to assist member countries, such as Gambia, to enhance the use of ICTs for socio-economic development across the Commonwealth,” added Purcell.
The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) is the oldest and largest Commonwealth intergovernmental organisation in the field of information and communication technologies. With a diverse membership spanning developed and least developed countries, small island developing states, and more recently also the private sector and civil society, the CTO aims to become a trusted partner for sustainable development for all through ICTs.