MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND
COMMUNICATION INFRASTRUCTURE
(MOICI)

ICT DEVELOPMENT IN THE GAMBIA
Small in number; big dream...
Country Profile – Smallest country on the continent map
Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and S...
MOICI Profile
Our goal at MOICI is to turn The Gambia into a competitive ICT incubator and
hub, in our region, which would...
In 2010, MOICI launched its four-year strategic plan, a new framework further
advancing its ongoing commitment to provide ...
The majority of Gambians now have the
possibility to access mobile phones, radio
and television, thus we are taking it
fur...
This falls in line with Open Access Policies that promote the mantra:
Connectivity for All! Getting Gambians connected and...
Figure : Total GDP, and communications sector value and
contribution to the Gambian GDP
Currently, our country is going through an ICT overhaul
with the advent of these key projects:
 The ICT4D Action Plan -- ...
 Connect A School, Connect A
Community Project
This ITU funded Project is designed to
promote broadband connectivity in
s...
 ECOWAN -- an ECOWAS Regional Backbone Infrastructure responsible
for upgrading our national fibre optic network to a Nex...
 The West Africa Regional
Communication Information
Project (WARCIP)
WARCIP is poised to address the
connectivity gaps, w...
 E-Government
The Government of the Gambia
through MOICI with the support
of UNDP has implemented the
following projects ...
 E-Judiciary Project – (A project in partnership with the Judiciary)
E-Judiciary Project: Interlinking courts – The first...
 IXP Project
We have recently partnered with the African
Union, who contracted the Internet Society to
conduct capacity b...
Public Private Partnership
Few examples of PPP Initiatives in Gambia’s ICT sector
 QPOWER – NAWEC Cash Power on your QCel...
Few examples of PPP Initiatives in Gambia’s ICT sector
cont’d
 Gambia Submarine and Cable Company (GSC)
To take advantage...
Girls in ICTs: Tech Needs Girls Campaign in the Gambia
This initiative is a two year programme in partnership with ITU and...
Challenges
 Funding;
 Human resource capacity;
 Inadequate collaboration;
 Narrow market for service delivery, irregul...
Why Invest in The Gambia ICT Landscape???
In line with promoting partnerships in creating ICT based
investments across the...
Conclusion
The Gambia is a small nation filled with bold ideas that are being
realized. The rapid growth of the ICT indust...
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MOICI Gambia presentation at the Youth Engagement Summit Mauritius

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This keynote addresses showcases the achievements of The Gambia in western Africa, in terms of national ICT sector policy and infrastructure. Public-private-people partnerships are the emerging model for holistic ICT development, as shown by The Gambia.

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MOICI Gambia presentation at the Youth Engagement Summit Mauritius

  1. 1. MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION INFRASTRUCTURE (MOICI) ICT DEVELOPMENT IN THE GAMBIA Small in number; big dreams being realised Presented by: Khadijah Aja Tambajang ICT Officer(Communication Affairs) December 5th 2013
  2. 2. Country Profile – Smallest country on the continent map Location: Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal Population: 1.7million Age structure: over 34% of population under 14 years of age Population growth rate: 2.29% (2013 est.) Area: 11,300 sq km Economy dependent on agriculture, tourism and bulk re exporting Natural resources: fish, clay, silica sand, titanium (rutile and ilmenite), tin, zircon. Domestic Telephone lines: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular teledensity, aided by four (4) mobile-cellular providers, is roughly 80 per 100 persons Mobile and Internet facts: 85% mobile coverage in 2010, and the number of mobile phone subscribers increased 264-fold to 1.47 million between 2000 and 2010.  Internet access increased ten-fold from 0.92 per 100 individuals in 2000, to 9.2 individuals per 100 in 2010.  We have six (6) ISPs
  3. 3. MOICI Profile Our goal at MOICI is to turn The Gambia into a competitive ICT incubator and hub, in our region, which would become an outsourcing destination and a base for technology services, knowledge, production and development. We would like to see a Gambia where its citizens have accessibility to connection, be it in the health, commerce, agriculture or education sector. The surge of ICT-based mechanisms in The Gambia in the last 11 years has proved that our Ministry in on the right path to realizing our vision: A Gambia with the requisite infrastructure and enabling policy framework that ensures full connectivity of everyone to ICT services by 2015. Our Objective Increase investment in ICTs as a major economic activity. Strategies Promote the development of ICT investment i.e., manufacturing, parks etc that respond to local and export oriented product and service requirements and to create a strong e-government platform to mainstream development in all sectors especially in the service delivery of government.
  4. 4. In 2010, MOICI launched its four-year strategic plan, a new framework further advancing its ongoing commitment to provide The Gambia with advanced telecoms infrastructure. This process was given a further boost last year with the launch of the government’s central Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE).
  5. 5. The majority of Gambians now have the possibility to access mobile phones, radio and television, thus we are taking it further in pushing hard to manifest our objectives of connecting schools around the nation, irrespective of region or personal affordability i.e., our ITU funded ‘Connect a School, Connect a Community Project,’ which we have partnered with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education in implementing. To reach this goal, we are working tirelessly in pushing our ongoing projects and bringing them to fruition based on the National Information and Communications Infrastructure (NICI) Plans, Policies and Strategies. The fundamentals of the NICI are to be the guiding framework for the diffusion of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) applications to accelerate the attainment of the national development goals.
  6. 6. This falls in line with Open Access Policies that promote the mantra: Connectivity for All! Getting Gambians connected and promoting Public Private Partnership (PPP) via involving potential stakeholders in the affairs of government is the way forward for us to realize our aspirations of being on the cutting edge of technology in the world at large. The NICI’s 10 pillars: infrastructure, e-Government, agriculture, health, trade and commerce, education, local governance, regulatory issues, media and gender will be a cross cutting one, for it is to create a data and knowledgebased platform that will strengthen our human resource capacity in an ICTcushioned environment, hence making a positive impact in The Gambia’s socio-economic development.
  7. 7. Figure : Total GDP, and communications sector value and contribution to the Gambian GDP
  8. 8. Currently, our country is going through an ICT overhaul with the advent of these key projects:  The ICT4D Action Plan -- a UNECA supported project that focuses on implementing the provisions of The Gambian NICI Policy focus areas has been re-organized into the respective 10 pillars designed to also incorporate specific programmes and initiatives for implementing in concrete terms the various actions of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Plan of Action. The goal is to make The Gambian ICT4D Action Plans ‘WSIS-compliant.’
  9. 9.  Connect A School, Connect A Community Project This ITU funded Project is designed to promote broadband connectivity in schools in remote, rural or underserved areas of the Gambia that will see schools double as community ICT centres (CICs). This Project aims to improve ICT access and use by school children and members of the local community, including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups such as, women and girls, indigenous and rural people, older persons and persons with disabilities
  10. 10.  ECOWAN -- an ECOWAS Regional Backbone Infrastructure responsible for upgrading our national fibre optic network to a Next Generation Network (NGN) under open access regime. This also includes an egovernment platform. ECOWAN project is a priority project for the country as it would build the missing/critical fibre network on the North Bank. It will replace existing obsolete network on the South Bank of the country, replacing major switches and secondary switches, overhauling of transmission elements and network monitoring and management system. Thus significantly contributing to national competitiveness, public and private sector productivity and efficiency, and job creation through ICT led SME growth.
  11. 11.  The West Africa Regional Communication Information Project (WARCIP) WARCIP is poised to address the connectivity gaps, which included the World Bank funded African Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable landing station for The Gambia, which hosts our first undersea cable. The ACE is to remedy our connectivity gaps in the country focusing on international, regional and national connectivity to enable the creation of a fully integrated network, which will provide affordable high-speed connectivity to the country. WARCIP components also include support to strengthen an enabling environment for development.
  12. 12.  E-Government The Government of the Gambia through MOICI with the support of UNDP has implemented the following projects under the First Phase of The Gambia Government’s e-Government programme: e-Government Data Center -- The Data Centre and Disaster Recovery Site was established with the collaboration of IFMIS. It is currently providing e-mail services to all civil servants under the dot gov dot gm domain.
  13. 13.  E-Judiciary Project – (A project in partnership with the Judiciary) E-Judiciary Project: Interlinking courts – The first phase of this proposed project is to have all our national courts on one communication platform. Our goal is to improve administration of courts in which people trust. With the utilization of ICT tools, this can be done as it has been implemented in countries like Ghana, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda and India. With a country our size, this initiative can soon become a reality. We have engaged the UNDP on this project and are actively seeking potential partners E-Judiciary Computer Literacy Training -- The computer to employee ratio of 1:8. Computer literacy is also about 50% based on a computer literacy survey conducted by MOICI. This lead to the Judiciary being the first beneficiaries of the newly revamped Gambia Telecommunications Multi media Institute (GTMI). Our objective is to have all staff, Management and even judges trained.
  14. 14.  IXP Project We have recently partnered with the African Union, who contracted the Internet Society to conduct capacity building workshops on the Technical Aspects of operating and administering Internet Exchange Points under the African Internet Exchange System (AXIS) project. This first took place in January 2013. According to a report, “Lifting barriers to Internet development in Africa: suggestions for improving connectivity,” for the Internet Society by Robert Schuman and Micheal Kendel, IXPs can and do improve the quality of Internet services and save African operators millions of dollars per year in connectivity fees but that a key factor in the success of IXPs is the availability of good domestic connectivity. *End of projects*
  15. 15. Public Private Partnership Few examples of PPP Initiatives in Gambia’s ICT sector  QPOWER – NAWEC Cash Power on your QCell Mobile line QPower is QCell’s innovation in partnership with NAWEC, our national water and electricity provider, that enables QCell customers to purchase NAWEC Cash Power (for electricity meters) using their QCell lines in two easy steps – Register and Purchase. Benefits of QPower:  Brings convenience to QCell customers with NAWEC Cash Power Meters.  The constraints of waiting in long queues;  The inconvenience of having to sleep in the dark when cash power runs out in the middle of the night when all cash power points have closed;  Right there on your mobile phone- QCell is giving you the power to purchase Cash Power at your own time, available to you 24hrs a day, 7days a week.
  16. 16. Few examples of PPP Initiatives in Gambia’s ICT sector cont’d  Gambia Submarine and Cable Company (GSC) To take advantage of the Africa to Europe Project (ACE) opportunity, a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) called the Gambia Submarine Cable (GSC) Company Limited was established between private operators, the incumbent state owned company, GAMTEL/GAMCEL and Government to further support the ACE. This gives our private sector partners a sense of ownership. As government, our role is to facilitate private sector participation. We would like a Gambia with an enabling investment environment. This is highlighted with the first mobile / computer assembly plant in the Gambia, RLG Gambia Limited, led by a young Gambian serial ICT sector entrepreneur, Papa Yusupha Njie. His company also trains people in phone and computer repairs.
  17. 17. Girls in ICTs: Tech Needs Girls Campaign in the Gambia This initiative is a two year programme in partnership with ITU and our Gambia ITAG chapter; we run workshops for girls in Senior Secondary Schools in mostly rural areas, that give basic computer literacy tools to basic internet use, that will eventually lead to the introduction of girls to appropriate computer skills that will lead to an interest in technical and innovative aspects of ICTs. Girls are also linked with female technologists who will be instructors and mentors. The goal is to empower girls and young women to be entrepreneurial and make use of opportunities ICTs avails. This initiative hopes to debunk the difficulty myth surrounding science technology engineering and mathematics.  ITAG has set up a Computer Learning Lab in the only female girls high school in the Gambia, St Joseph Senior Secondary School.  ITAG Gambia has been working with the Gambia YMCA Chapter to set up a Computer Training Centre and Digital Studio, under the Jelypals and web. This programme is designed by women for women. It is lead by young female ICT professionals to lead to the innovative use of ICTs by girls . You can follow them on twitter on https://twitter.com/YPlusYMCA
  18. 18. Challenges  Funding;  Human resource capacity;  Inadequate collaboration;  Narrow market for service delivery, irregular and unstable gridline electricity supply;  Cooperation from other government and non-government entities. All these need to be addressed for The Gambia to be able to be successful in the optimal usage and adoption of ICT for development.
  19. 19. Why Invest in The Gambia ICT Landscape??? In line with promoting partnerships in creating ICT based investments across the country, we have a few investment incentives and benefits below:  Special Investment Certificate (SIC) -- VAT exemption on imported direct inputs items (materials, equipment) for projects for 5-8years depending on location.  Export processing zone license – when at least 80% of output is exported then the company is exempted from VAT, import duty on capital equipment and custom duty for 10 years.  Close proximity to Europe and America has made it a good choice of investment.
  20. 20. Conclusion The Gambia is a small nation filled with bold ideas that are being realized. The rapid growth of the ICT industry is prove that our policies are working and enabling a healthy growth in the sector. Just as countries we would like to emulate: Ghana, kenya, Rwanda and Mauritius have utilized ICTs in realizing their development dreams, we are following the same path and hopeful that ICT will be indeed a catalyst to furthering our country’s development agenda. We look forward to hosting IAD Summit 2014 in The Gambia and to welcome you all in the Smiling Coast of Africa. Thank you! Merci! Gambia information: http://www.visitthegambia.gm/

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