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 ICT in Africa: Great agreement ?
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Posted - 01 Oct 2013 :  13:09:46  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message
"notably the proposed termination of taxes on incoming calls to make the ECOWAS region a key player among the global ICT community."

Well now,THIS PARTICULAR proposal, will not go down well with some in Gambia.


"According to the Vice President, the Gambia government under the leadership of President Yahya Jammeh, in collaboration with ECOWAS, has signed a financing agreement with the Islamic Development Bank for the Gambia ECOWAN project."

ECOWAS ICT ministers meet to accelerate ICT sector growth

The Point: Published on Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Fourteen ECOWAS ministers in charge of information communication technology, ICT, last Friday met to, among others, look at ways and means of accelerating the growth already registered in the sector.

The high-level ministerial meeting, following a four-day experts’ meeting was, among others, geared towards consolidating the ICT aspirations of ECOWAS member states through a series of measures, notably the proposed termination of taxes on incoming calls to make the ECOWAS region a key player among the global ICT community.

The experts’ meeting, which brought together over 80 international experts, discussed the implementation status of the ECOWAS 2011-2015 strategic plan for the telecoms/ICT sector, as well as considered the impact of the termination of taxes on incoming calls within member states.

The meeting also discussed the draft regulation for access to the submarine cables.

Declaring the ministerial meeting open, the Vice President and Minister for Women’s Affairs, Isatou Njie-Saidy, underscored the importance of the high-level gathering, noting that ICT has evolved tremendously and is now at centre stage as a game changer in the social and economic transformation not only in the sub-region, but the African continent and the world at large.

According to the Vice President, the Gambia government under the leadership of President Yahya Jammeh, in collaboration with ECOWAS, has signed a financing agreement with the Islamic Development Bank for the Gambia ECOWAN project.

‘‘The ECOWAN project represents not only the regional e-governance platform, but also the infrastructure at national level that seeks to expand and modernise their national fibre optic backbone to the state-of-the-art next generation network,’’ she stated.

Vice President Njie-Saidy added: “The project will further accord other sector players the opportunity to interconnect their base stations or local loop facilities, increase the range and quality of service they offer and increase the reliability of the ACE submarine cable by providing alternative routing to the landing station, in the event of failure in the cable leading to the landing station at Bijilo”.

Nana Grey-Johnson, the Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure, underscored the importance the government attaches to the development of the ICT sector in the country.

Noting that his Ministry has developed a solid strategic plan 2010-2014 to enable the conceptualisation and adoption of ICTs as the bedrock of the country’s socio-economic development, Mr. Grey-Johnson said with the ACE project they can be more strongly connected by direct access between them.

Ebrima Njie, the Ecowas commissioner for Infrastructure, spoke on behalf of the ECOWAS Commission President.
Source: Picture: Minister Grey Johnson

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.


11550 Posts

Posted - 03 Oct 2013 :  11:02:49  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message
‘ICT expansion in Africa enhances socio-economic development’

By Bekai Njie

Daily Observer: Published on Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The minister of Information Communication and Infrastructure has underscored that the expansion of Information ICT in Africa, particularly wirelesses and mobile technologies, has enhanced socio-economic development in the continent.

Minister Nana Grey-Johnson was speaking Tuesday in Kololi during the official launching of an E-Commerce Facilitation System for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through Tele-innovation Centres.

Supported by United Nation Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the system is being piloted in only two African countries, namely The Gambia and Ethiopia. The initiative is aimed at providing a platform to compete some of the best E-Commerce platforms for SMEs across the globe.

The minister explained that the scope of the development is wide, and can reach a large number of people with enormous impact. Wireless communications, he stated, can provide the platform that can make digital data transfer possible in many developing countries.

The Information minister also pointed out that technology has made possible the advent of electronic commerce that enable people to buy and sell goods and services through mobile phones.

“Given the increasing penetration in Africa particularly among the rural and semi-urban population, mobile phone usage expands into realm of commerce and trading and creates opportunities for innovative applications such as m-banking or m-payment that allows low-income communities to use it for banking and commercial transaction purposes,” he indicated.

Minister Johnson observed that in recent years, great efforts have been made to support the development, diffusion and the use of ICTs to meet the economic, social and cultural development of rural communities in Africa. This, he averred, has transformed the tele-centres into innovative institutions to enable them identify and offer a number of value-added products and services and promote technical, social and economic change in the contemporary communities.

He assured that the selection of The Gambia for this pilot project is no coincidence, as in his view, it was fostered by the country’s commitment to the development of the ICT sector. He informed that The Gambia has adopted ICT4D – 2012 Action through which the National Information and Communication Infrastructure (NICI) Policy network actively promotes universal access to ICTs and services to all communities including rural and under-served areas.

The UNEC representative, Abebe Chekol, stressed the need for Africa not to be left out at a time when the rest of the world is speeding up with technological advancement. “By 2010, 90% of Africa’s urban population and 48% of its rural population lived within the reach of a mobile network while sub-Saharan Africa remains the region with the lowest internet access at 10.9%,” he said.

Thus, Chekol underscored that this project is one of the many efforts aimed at taking ICTs related benefits to the level of communities with a view to enabling them exploit the global market opportunities through e-commerce. He opined that this initiative came at an opportune time for The Gambia, as it will enable it to exploit new and emerging technologies to enhance its socio-economic development.

Source: Daily Observer

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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