Ghana received a seven-member delegation from the Gambia on a 5 day ICT study tour

The delegation, led by the Gambian Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure Mr. Ebrima Sillah included the Director General of the Gambian Public Utility and Regulatory Authority (PURA), Mr Yusupha Jobe and the Deputy Managing Director for Gambia Telecom (GAMTEL), Mr. Lamin A. Tunkara will study Ghana’s various ICT and Digital initiatives, projects, programs and policies with a view to adapting some for their own purposes.

They identified cybersecurity, ICT policy and legal framework, Digital economy and identity, expert negotiations, infrastructure sharing and utilisation of local content as some of the areas they would like to learn more about Ghana’s experiences.

In my remarks, I urged the team to utilise the World Bank’s support to develop and implement the basic fundamental policies to support their ICT drive. I also emphasised that without political will, their efforts will be thwarted. I encouraged the team to adopt the interoperable systems which are scalable and would enable the Gambian government minimise duplication, waste and dissipation of resources. It is also critical that every ICT procurement should be done with the input of experts to ensure value for money.

Ghana has a common platform for regulatory, fiscal and financial oversight of the telecom industry. The infrastructure is owned by the government and the country can decide to layer on additional components. Gambia could emulate this.

I also spoke about Ghana’s Rural Telephony Project, providing connectivity to rural communities, cybersecurity and data protection in the country. Whilst digitising the various sectors, individual liberties must be respected.

The team will visit the various agencies under the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation to obtain first-hand information about their work.

I reiterated Ghana’s readiness to support Gambia in realising its ICT and Digitalisation objectives.

Hon Ebrima expressed his delight at our willingness to host them and the extensive program drawn up for their visit which would enable them interact with all the agencies under the MoCD, private sector service providers and the MoF. They had no doubt the tour would provide useful insights as they plan to roll out the Gambian digital agenda.

culled from Hon Ursula Owusu facebook wall