Sep 2, 2008, 8:47 AM
The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) on Tuesday convened a one-day workshop to discuss the operation of internet or cyber cafes in the country.
The forum, organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure (MOICT), was held at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi.
The forum was held to update all stakeholders including internet café owners and operators on the requirement for registration of all Internet cafes in The Gambia.
The forum discussed among other issues the protection of minors using internet cafes, registration procedures and internet café operation guidelines, internet service providers guidelines, use of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) with internet cafes and new broadband service following the ACE landing cable.
Delivering his opening remarks at the vent, Abdoulie Jobe, director general of PURA, said the event was what they referred to as the 1st National Consultative Forum on Internet cafes.
Director Jobe went further to explain that the legal, technical and institutional challenges posed by the issue of cyber security are global and far-reaching and can only be addressed through a coherent strategy taking into account the role of all actors, within a framework of a collaborative network.
The realization of Vision 2020, therefore, is anchored upon maximizing the catalytic role of ICT in socio-economic development, he said.
According to him, information and communication technology has become a strategic resource and the foundation of most economic activity both at an individual and institutional level.
“It is amazing how ICT has transformed our lives in the last decade. Ten, twenty years ago no one would have envisioned the level of advancement we are witnessing in ITC across the globe and The Gambia is no exception,” remarked Mr Jobe.
He added: “In governance we are witnessing citizen participation on national issues at levels never witnessed before.
“Technology, therefore, has torn down geographical and spatial boundaries; we have all become global citizens.”
Director Jobe added that the benefits of this paradigm have opened up new avenues to eradicate poverty, promote sustainable human development, and induce accelerated economic growth, and invariably increase the efficiency of ITC services in general.
Solo Sima, director of Consumer Affairs of PURA, for his part, thanked all the participants who attended the forum.
He noted that the workshop was very important to the stakeholders, particularly to those operating internet or cyber cafes in the country.Ebrima Jobe expressed similar sentiments on behalf of the director of ICT at the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure