By Adama Tine
The Minister of Information and Communications Infrastructure, Ebrima Sillah, has said that Information, Communication Technology (ICT) contributes to the eradication of poverty.
Minister Sillah was speaking on Monday during the Gambia’s 7th National Internet Governance Forum held at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara conference center in Bijilo.
As part of their efforts to enhance the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) policy dialogue and discussion in the country, the multi stakeholder forum held its 7th annual event on the 30th and 31st of August 2021. Some of the sub-themes identified to trigger discussions to ensure achievement of the main theme included Accessibility and Cost, Building a Digital Economy, the National Development Plan, Data Protection and Privacy in The Gambia, Connecting the Unconnected, Collaboration as well as Community Networks.
Addressing the forum under the main theme: Digital Inclusion and Access for Resilient Gambia, Sillah said it is evident that ICT in general and broadband in particular contributes substantially to growth of the national development processes especially the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and towards poverty eradication by improving access with equity.
He disclosed that a study conducted by the World Bank revealed that a 10% increase in broadband penetration accounts for 1.38 percentage increase per capita GDP growth in developing economics.
“The government of the Gambia has in the past decade led the institutionalization and establishment of land mark and game changing projects in the Gambia,” he went on.
He noted that to break the digital divide, it is pertinent for the country to look into internet resilience and affordability for our citizens as the Covid 19 pandemic has definitely portrayed that working online is no longer a luxury but a necessity for all citizens. He assured them of government’s commitment, support and collaboration in digital issues in the Gambia.
Sillah further said that issues to bring down internet cost and also make it more accessible for rural duelers should be looked at.