#Article (Archive)

New Opportunities for Progress and Development

Aug 13, 2008, 6:29 AM

Every day the internet is becoming more and more available to many Gambians and with it come great opportunities. Many in the rural areas still have great difficulty accessing the 'net owing to a number of factors including a lack of electricity. However at the rate technology is developing, it may not be long before everybody in The Gambia can have internet access at least in the nearest big town. Mobile phone technology may even supercede the traditional means of logging on for many but for the major opportunities to be grasped a full LAN or wireless connection will be needed.

Among these great opportunities are business and education. From a business point of view the internet opens up practically the whole world as a potential market for Gambian business, goods and services.

It is no longer necessary for people to be able to meet their customers face to face to provide them with goods and services. For this reason many of the traditional crafts of The Gambia may soon be available to purchasers all over the world who wish to get their hands on a genuine original piece. The great benefit to the artist who produces the goods is that the middleman is cut out of the process and so the profits come straight to the producer.

This kind of business could revolutionise life in some of our most remote areas or at least those areas which don't benefit form tourism to the same extent as the Greater Banjul Area.

Along with business the great potential for development lies in education. To take but one example the Open University offers courses on-line which culminate in the awarding of an internationally recognised degree in a multitude of different disciplines. This means that students no longer have to travel abroad to study certain courses, they can all be undertaken from here in The Gambia. It is difficult to overstate the importance of this development. For so long many have bemoaned the fact thatthey have to travel abroad for the fullest education in certain fields but this is now becoming a thing of the past.

What the government and the Department of State for Education must ensure is that everyone is educated to a standard high enough for them to undertake and achieve degrees in these courses as the benefits for the individuals and national development are truly enormous. The internet has opened doors for our population that many would not even have dreamed about even a few years ago. It is up to all of us to take full advantage of these opportunities.