The Information Technology Association of
the Gambia (ITAG) yesterday organized a one-day face-to-face forum on
‘West Africa Internet Governance Forum’ to discuss on how to enhance
Information Communication and Technology in the country.
forum, which was held at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi, brought
together participants from government institutions, students, media
practitioners, private institutions among others.
are living in a global village and we can only address it by looking at
what internet governance is all about within the structures of
Internet,” the president of ITAG, Poncelet Ileleji said.
to him, there is need for media people and stakeholders to be embedded
for the sake of humanity to address issues that are very close to them.
He added: “We have protocols that guide us on the Internet and we also have our ICT infrastructures.”
have to realize that it is only 1992 that the first SMS text message
was sent and children that are being born today are considered as
Mr Ileleji went on to
say that it took radio 38 years to reach 50 million people, TV 13 years
to reach 50 million, the Internet 4 years to reach 50 million people,
and Ipod which are the new phones took 2 years to reach 50 million
people. According to him, the social media has a role to play to
whatever is being done today, saying that in as much as the Internet
operates, people need self-regulation.
also said that lot of offices in the country still do not have Internet
policies as the staff would be browsing on Facebook or watching movies
during working hours, thereby neglecting their customers or duties.
noting that the ministry of Basic and Secondary Education is about to
introduce local languages to be taught in schools, the ITAG president
suggested that Portuguese should also be incorporated in the school
He further urged the people not to disregard the ‘darass’ (Arabic schools) as they are ‘very important’.
ITAG president finally called on the Gambian people to join the West
African internet Governance the Gambia mailing list on
In his response,
the permanent secretary, Ministry of Information, Communication and
Infrastructure Jamal Miknas described the forum as the first of its kind
in the country, noting that it complements governments’ effort in
putting the Gambia on the world ICT map amongst other things.
disclosed that the government has taken giant strides in addressing
Internet accessibility in the country through the Ministry.
our quest to address the perennial issues of our international
bandwidth, the ministry with Gamtel have signed the construction and
maintenance agreement of the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) Submarine
cable project,” PS Miknas noted.
project, he said, is geared towards addressing the issue of
international bandwidth and accessibility in The Gambia by providing
direct access to submarine cables through landing stations in The Gambia
and other participating countries.
national front, he explained, the incumbent telecom operators, Gamtel
is embarking on implementing the Next Generation Network project (NGN)
to replace and upgrade the existing defunct transmission network.
is our conviction that all relevant stakeholders will team up to ensure
successful implementation of an Internet Exchange Points for The
Gambia,” he said.