Sillah made this statement on Monday during The Gambia’s 7th National Internet Governance Forum, held at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara conference center in Bijilo.
As part of efforts to enhance Internet Governance Forum (IGF) policy dialogue and discussion in the country, The Gambia National Internet Governance Forum (a multi stakeholder forum) held its 7th annual event on the 30th and 31st of August 2021. The following sub-themes were identified to trigger discussions to ensure achievement of the main themes: Accessibility and Cost; Building a Digital Economy, The Gambia and the NDP; Data Protection and Privacy in The Gambia; Connecting the Unconnected, Collaboration and Community Networks
The forum was held under the main theme: ‘Digital Inclusion and Access for Resilient Gambia.’
Sillah said “It is evident that ICT in general and broadband in particular contributes substantially to growth of the national development processes especially the GDP and towards poverty eradication by improving access with equity.”
He disclosed that a study conducted by the World Bank reveals a 10% increase in broadband penetration accounts for 1.38 percentage increase in per capita GDP growth in developing economies.
“The government of The Gambia has in the past decade led the institutionalisation and the establishment of landmark and game changing projects in the Gambia, ICT sector as a sign in critical enabler file of our national development plan the DNP which seeks to transform the Gambia into a digital nation and create a modern information society,” he added.
Speaking further, he said it is important to note that in order to break the digital device, it is pertinent for the country to look into internet resilience and affordability for our citizens as covid-19 pandemic has taught us that being online is no longer a luxury but a necessity for all citizens.
“This session is not only timely but apt as it seeks to provide the platform where the internet anchor system in the Gambia will not only discuss and share experiences on the theme and sub themes but also possibly discuss digital measures to put in place, to fight the pandemic, and therefore assured the government’s commitment, support and collaboration in the digital issues in the Gambia,” he added.
Sillah encouraged all participants in the forum including the panelists that are online as well as present physically to critically look at the issues at hand in order to provide tangible options that the government of the Gambia and all relevant stake holders can take to bring down the cost of internet and also make accessibility more possible for our rural duelers.