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ICT Providers Observe International Telecommunication Day

May 22, 2008, 6:03 AM | Article By: By Nfamara Jawneh & Njie Baldeh

The information communication technology (ICT) providers in the country joined the rest of the world Saturday in observing international telecommunication day. The celebration started with a march passed, led by the police band from the Serre Kunda Gamtel exchange, along

Kairaba Avenue
to the new GRTS building in Kanifing where the celebration proper was held.

The theme for this year is connecting people with disabilities-ICT opportunities for all.

One unique thing about this year's celebration in The Gambia is that almost all-key ICT providers in the country participated in the event.

Speaking at the occasion, CEO Gamtel/Gamcel Rein Zwolsman said that the key to information society is universal access. "Every one should have access to ICT. No one should be denied the potential benefits of the new communications, information technologies" he stressed. He noted that ICT brings a wide range of innovation to people. He used the opportunity to hail the various institutions in the country that have created employment for disabled people.

CEO Zwolsman encouraged other institutions to emulate the sector thus giving disabled persons the opportunity to explore their potential.

Mrs. Ida Jallow, Acting Director of Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), described telecommunication as an essential engine of growth.

Mr. Gaira Lamin, deputising the president of The Gambia Federation of Disabled, expressed his admiration with the theme of the celebration.

In his keynote address, Abdou Karim Sonko, permanent secretary of the Department of State for Information, Communication Technology, said that the theme is not only fitting but also relevant to the socio-economic advancement of the country. He revealed that their Department of State is currently pursing the development of national email account and web points in the country. He further revealed that plans are underway to have ICT connection points in the country to reduce cost, thus making internet service reliable, affordable and accessible to all while reducing demand on international bandwidth. PS Sonko stressed that ICT provides a lot of opportunities which must be used by all including disabled people. He posited that President Jammeh has set a stage to make quality education accessible and relevant to all including disabled people.