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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Summit motivates Gambia’s ambition for subregional ICT hub

The Africa Innovation Digital Summit, organised by Extensia Ltd, is an annual gathering of telecom leaders in Africa, offering networking and business engagement opportunities.  The organisers announced that this year’s event brings together up to 300 stakeholders from across Africa, including fifteen ICT ministers, policy makers, investors, regulators, service providers and vendors. 

According to the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure, the summit will boost the country’s ambition to be the ICT hub of the subregion. “We will have a conversation with the people coming to the conference, learn best practices and see how we apply it in our local context,” said Mr Lamin Camara, deputy permanent secretary at the ministry. 

Speaking on Monday at a pre-event press briefing, Mr Camara added: “Africa being the place everyone is now running to, there is lot of growth potential and we feel this summit could be the platform to exploit the opportunities.

“There are areas that need investment. As you would know, the fastest growing sector in The Gambia is the information and communications technology sector which has the biggest chunk of contribution to the national treasury in terms of taxes.”

Mr Camara pointed out that The Gambia has an ICT-enabled single-window registration system which ensures the registration of businesses in 24 hours.  He added: “For certain investment to take place, your ICT infrastructure should be up to standards. This is why the government invested in ACE submarine cable. And we’re trying to enhance the backbone infrastructure in other to have fibre deployed all around the country.” The Innovation Africa Digital Summit is a flagship event of a UK-based ICT group, Extensia Ltd. Previous events were held in Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Egypt and Uganda. 

Mr Adrian Hall, executive director, Extensia Limited, said The Gambia was chosen to host this year’s event because it had shown that from the highest level, there was understanding of the value of ICT. He added: “It’s an honour to have the opportunity to give exposure to Gambians who could benefit from the many activities taking place over the next three days. “The programme reflects the biggest challenge in the industry today, that is, how to improve quality of services and customer experience in ICT.” Mr Hall said placing Africa as a business partner in the international community requires access to reliable and affordable connectivity.

 

Author: Saikou Jammeh

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