May 5, 2008, 8:12 AM
A two-day consultative workshop on Implementation Plans of the National Information and Communication Infrastructure (NICI) Policy ended yesterday at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi.
Declaring the two-day workshop open, on behalf of the Minister of Information and Communication and Infrastructure (MoICI), the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communication and Infrastructure, Nancy A. Niang, said the implementation plans under development, which are of special relevance to the NICI policy framework, touch on key sectors of the national economy.
In this regard, she added, formulation of implementation plans of this nature will no doubt require the contribution of government, the private sector, the civil society and the academia.
“The plans, if implemented, will mainstream ICTs in all sectors, improve productivity and significantly transform our service delivery systems,” PS Niang stated.
The development of the NICI implementation plans is being undertaken in phases, she added, saying: “This is the commencement of the phase two, which started with a baseline study relating to the pillars of e-Agriculture, e-Health, e-Commerce and e-Tourism.”
In a paper read on his behalf, Aida Opoku-Ensah, director of ICT, Science and Technology Division at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), said it is now fifteen years since the launch of the African Information Society Initiative (AISI) spearheaded by ECA and adopted by the Heads of States and Governments of OAU now AU in 1996 as Africa’s digital agenda to build inclusive information society on the continent.
As a result, she said, ICT has become a national priority in many African countries.
She pledged her office’s supportive role to The Gambia in the formulation of policies and programmes that foster technological innovation leading to the transformation of the lives of poor communities in the country.