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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Cabinet approves plans to give good internet to 75% Gambian homes

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By Omar Bah

The cabinet on Thursday approved to an ambitious policy that seeks to ensure 75% of the nation’s homes have affordable access to internet.

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According to the Information Minister Ebrima Sillah, he presented the National Broadband Policy 2020 – 2024 during the meeting.

“The vision of the policy is to transform The Gambia into a knowledge – based economy that thrives on accessible, secure and high – speed connection within an open access regime and robust broadband ecosystem,” he said.

“The National Broadband Policy has put in place targets that by June 2021, all operators to be connected to the ECOWAN on an open access basis in the provision of last mile solutions. That By the end of 2021 The Gambia should have another connectivity as alternative to GSC-ACE Cable that is to serve as a reliable backup for the country. By 2022, at least 75% of homes should have affordable access to actual download and upload of at least 5 Mbps.”

“By 2024, almost 85% of the population should have affordable and increase access to broadband coverage of 4G. Expand broadband services to all local government areas and districts and to have 75% digital literacy amongst the government workforce and 65% digital literacy of the total National workforce including by 2024,” he said.

The cabinet also approved a document presented by the Minister of Interior for the procurement of equipment for the deployment of a Formed Police Unit (FPU) by The Gambia Police Force to UN and other peacekeeping missions.

“The need to have a credible and effective peacekeeping force requires the acquisition of critical peacekeeping enablers and other specialized equipment. Providing the necessary specialized training is also part of the requirements for the deployment of a quick reaction force,” Interior Minister Yankuba Sonko said.

Minister Sonko also informed the cabinet that The Gambia Police Force has already started the generation of forces and preparation of training modules in accordance with the UN Formed Police Unit training standards.

According to Information minister Sillah, there are set of factors for The Gambia to support the UN, AU and ECOWAS missions with troops as part of the country’s global responsibility, regional dynamics and national interests. “After a thorough discussion, Cabinet approved the paper by the Hon Minister of Interior for the procurement of equipment for the deployment of a Formed Police Unit (FPU) by The Gambia Police Force to a United Nations and any other Peacekeeping Missions around the world,” Sillah said in a statement.

The Minister of Petroleum and Energy also updated cabinet on the Petroleum Commission Bill which has now undergone a second reading at the National Assembly.

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