By Aisha Tamba
Information Technology Association of The Gambia (ITAG) in partnership with Youth Empowerment Project (Yep) recently held The Gambia’s first information and communication technology expo to promote the Gambian tech industry.
The exhibition showcased a cross-section of companies ranging from software engineering firms to network engineering, technology, communications, graphic designs, young tech entrepreneurs and freelancers.
It was under the theme”leveraging technology for economic growth” and was held at Paradise Suites Hotel.
The exhibition was a day-long event with workshops, competitions and business-to-business (B2B) events in between to create linkages between companies and potential clients.
Ebrima Darboe, the deputy permanent secretary for finance and administration at the Ministry of Information and Communications Infrastructure, spoke on behalf of his minister stating that the government recognises the sector as a significant pillar for socio-economic development in the country.
He said: “In this regard, the National Development Plan which is the development blueprint of The Gambia from 2018-2021 has identified ICT as a critical enabler to make The Gambia a digital nation and creat a modern information society.
“In order to attain this target, the government has invested massively on ICT infrastructural development, particularly on broadband infrastructure such as the ACE fibre optic cable and the Ecowas Wide Area Network (Ecowan) fibre backbone. The National Broadband Network (NBN) which was launched last year, has a robust Internet exchange point which has localised Internet traffic, thus significantly reducing the stress on the international capacity.”
Seedy Omar Bensouda, the outgoing head of ITAG, highlighted that the aim of the expo was to provide the Gambian ICT ecosystem, IT professionals, entrepreneurs and start-ups, the platform to make and promote their products and services.
He added that ITAG has organised over 10 activities with active support from the ICT community from both the public and private sector.
“ITAG has retained its strength as an involved member in the development of ICT and currently chairs The Gambia Internet Government Forum Steering Committee as well as the DotGM Task Force,” he said.