Sep 16, 2011, 1:18 PM
The government of The Gambia with support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in their quest to increase access to public-sector data and other relevant information last Tuesday, 25th May, inaugurated the official website (www.gambia.gov.gm), at a ceremony held at Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi.
Considering the importance of ICTs in modern day society, it is right to say that this is a brilliant initiative, and we encourage those behind it to ensure a timely and regular updating of the sites with relevant information.
This is what is happening in many countries of the globe and, as a country, in this age of technology we cannot afford to be left behind.
We further recommend that the web-portal be man by well-trained and competent staff or volunteers.
We encourage all and sundry to make this web-portal a friend, hence it can be very useful for anyone wanting to know about the country.
All ministries should ensure that their sites are fed with useful information on relevant and topical matters.
In fact, access to information is a right, and such a right should not be negotiable or compromised. We do hope that this project would serve its intended purpose.
Described as a milestone initiative, we gathered that this official Gambia government web portal is an idea which emanated from a 2003 validation workshop that centred on the e-governance strategy, that was organised by the Ministry of Information and Communications Infrastructure (MOICI).
It would be recalled that a few years ago, The Gambia government with the active collaboration of all stakeholders, had formulated a National Policy on Information and Communications Infrastructure (NICI), which expressed its intention to harness the full advantages of ICTs, to accelerate growth and development in line with the objectives of the national Vision 2020.
As a key trend and emerging issue affecting public sector management, e-government aims to provide for open and transparent processes, as well as greater citizen participation and involvement.
We understand that The Gambia government, in partnership with the UNDP in order to create greater public awareness, understanding and appreciation have been working to create a web-portal that would serve as a window through which people everywhere can access information virtually "about everything happening within our borders."
We encourage the UNDP to continue to provide technical support to the MOICI for the transfer of skills to locals to ensure the sustainability of the project.
"Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity, and the emotions to affect other people."