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"PURA Position on ICT Clear and Consistent" - PURA DG

Dec 3, 2008, 5:49 AM | Article By: Bakary Samateh

The Director General of The Gambia Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), Mr. Alagi B Gaye, has pointed out that his institution's position on ICT has been clear and consistent. He said that a further liberalised environment will lead to significant gains as witnessed with the mobile revolution in The Gambia and other parts of Africa.

The PURA Boss was speaking at the opening ceremony of a one-day workshop on trade in services with the theme; "Dialogue on trade in services and how to improve service delivery in the Gambia'. The seminar was held at Dunes Hotel. It was jointly organised by the Department of State for Trade Industry & Employment, The Gambia Public Regulatory Utilities Authority (PURA) and the Committee on Mainstreaming Trade and Trade Related Matters (MATTRICOM). "Most recently we have worked in actively supporting DOSCIIT in passing new legislation in the sector by way of the information and communication bill," Mr. Gaye said. He added that his Institution has been challenged by a combination of institutional issues, insufficient supply and high network losses that businesses and consumers have to pay for. "This is economically crippling as it does not allow the growth of SME and kills off entrepreneurial growth and the creation of wealth as a vehicle to poverty alleviation," he said. Mr. further asserted that energy by way of electricity in particular is a critical sector that requires effective regulatory oversight and intervention."The huge resources needed to deal with an aging network characterised by the inadequacy of transmission and distribution of electricity has direct correlation to the effective roll out of ICT services particularly broadband technologies," he stated.

He finally said that transport services in terms of accessibility to remote areas is a critical issue. "However that is a topic for PURA on another occasion perhaps when we do eventually take on that specific mandated in that area," he concluded.