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PURA hosts WATRA working group meeting in Banjul

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A technical working group meeting of the West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly WATRA hosted by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority opens in Banjul on Monday under the theme; “Enhancing Digital Transformation in West Africa; Strengthening Connectivity, Security and Access.”

It brought together experts, policy makers and telecoms and ICT stakeholders from the region. They will engage in in-depth discussions, exchange of best practices and explore innovative and harmonised solutions to improve service delivery and enhance affordable communication services, ensure cybersecurity and inclusive sustainable growth and development in the region. 

Addressing delegates at the opening ceremony, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Lamin Camara said: “Gambia is proud to host this crucial meeting which embodies our collective commitment to advancing the digital transformation agenda in West Africa. The theme aligns with the vision of our national broadband policy and strategy, which aims at transforming the Gambia into a knowledge-based economy that thrives on an accessible, secure and high speed broadband ecosystem within an open access regime.”

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PS Camara reported that the Gambia has made great strides over the years in improving connectivity, digital security and access citing developments in telecommunications infrastructure, 5G network, a mobile penetration rate of above 150 percent and formulation and adoption of robust national cybersecurity and data policy.

PURA Director General, Dr Njogu Bah, stated that rising consumer demands necessitated the need for regulators to harmonise in their collective search for viable and sustainable solutions for facilitation of meaningful services. “As we stand on the cusp of a new era defined by unprecedented technological advancements, it is imperative that we come together to chart a course that ensures our region remains at the forefront of innovation and progress.”

Dr Bah called for more efforts to improve connectivity infrastructure to pave the way for increased collaboration, economic growth and social development in West Africa.

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WATRA Executive Secretary Aliyu Yusuf Aboki described the meeting as the beginning of a new era for WATRA characterised by renewed confidence in line with its 2022-2025 strategic plan which is driven by strategic pillars that are crucial for the development and integration of telecommunications across West Africa. “By working together we can bring our fragmented markets closer, shape the industry and accelerate socio economic development.”

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