Report of the Gambian IG Forum 2010

Wednesday 10 November 2010

The Gambia Face to Face forum organized on the 2nd of November 2010, attracted all sectors of the Gambia socio economic development who make up entirely the Internet Governance Stake holders in the Gambia. The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information Communication and Infrastructure, Mr Jamal Miknas, chaired the forum. He gave an opening remark on behalf of the Ministry, which covered the entire aspects of ICT infrastructure development the ministry is embarking and the importance of the Internet Governance Forum to the Gambia. Mrs Beran Gillen, Vice President Information Technology Association of the Gambia, moderated the whole event.

Through support from the West African Internet Governance Forum, the Gambia Stake holders Internet Governance Face to Face Forum was able to take place. The forum has to thank especially the Ministry of Information Communication and Infrastructure who saw to it that the forum was well covered on the National Radio and Television Services, private local FM stations and all the major newspapers in the Gambia.

The Information Technology Association of the Gambia (ITAG) worked tirelessly to put together this event within the shortest possible time to organize the forum. The Event held at the Paradise Suites Hotel within the Senegambia area of the Gambia Tourism development area, lasted from 9.00am to 4:30pm. All sessions where well attended, and at the end of the forum, group thematic sessions came out with issues from each key thematic area as outlined from the Regional Face to Face Internet Governance Forum in Dakar, Senegal in August 2010 that the Gambia Face to Face Forum felt where critical to the Gambia Internet Governance Process.

One of the major outcomes of the Gambia Face to Face forum, was that the event should have gone for two days at a minimum but based on funding issues it could only happen for one day, however the organizers The Information Technology Association of The Gambia hope to have a similar event early next year by contacting local sponsors organizations, embassies to help fund the event in support of the West African Regional Internet Governance Forum consortium who have worked tirelessly to make sure Internet Governance issues are heard and acted on within the areas of operations in the West African Sub Region.

Participants listened to presentation on the Internet Governance Process delivered by Poncelet Ileleji, National Resource Person for Internet Governance in the Gambia and current President of the Information Technology Association of The Gambia

Archibald Worwui Data Manager at the Medical Research Council, Laboratories in the Gambia gave a presentation on ISP’s and Consumer Rights.

Fatim Badjie former Minister of Information Communication and Infrastructure, shared her research papers on her recently concluded Masters in ICT for Development at the University of Manchester with participants. Her paper centred on Internet outreaching the Gambia, ISP’s and Cellular Companies.

Gabriel Latjor Ndow former Trade Commission at the Public Utility Regulatory Authority, now a Science and ICT Consultant gave presentation on Science and Technology in the Gambia with updated statistical data on Internet Connectivity, usage and cellular companies outreach within the Gambia.

That was the last presentation prior to the break out sessions to discuss the various key thematic topics based on the regional event in Dakar, Senegal in August 2010.

Below are the outcomes of the various thematic discussions as approved by all the stakeholders at the Gambia Internet Governance Face to Face forum.

CLOUD COMPUTING

  1. local level
  2. Neutral ground
  3. Using cloud computing in its full potential

TAKING STOCK OF INTERNET GOVERNANCE AND THE WAY FORWARD

  1. Formation stages / No multi stakeholder approach
  2. More forums such as the WAIGF
  3. Sensitization / Awareness/ Advocacy

ACCESS AND DIVERSITY

Urban vs. Rural

  1. Lack of awareness
  2. Inadequate infrastructure
  3. Affordability (low earning power)
  4. Lack of technical Know-how
  5. Literacy level is low
  6. Adequacy of the application platform
    1. The user must relate
  7. Lack of power (electricity)
    1. Diversify power sources
      1. Solar
      2. Wind

INTERNET GOVERNANCE FOR DEVELOPMENT

  1. Government to develop web portal
  2. Each ministry should have its own website
  3. Intranet access between ministries
  4. Research and update of data
  5. Access to information and knowledge sharing from local to global
  6. Internet Educations
    1. Should start from grassroots
    2. Self regulation

SECURITY, OPENNESS AND PRIVACY

  1. ISPs to have strong security measures in place for their customers
  2. Identity theft
  3. Posting private information online
  4. Internet Security Policy (national and institutional)
  5. Rogue websites / scammers

MANAGING CRITICAL INTERNET RESOURCES

  1. Up to date antivirus
  2. Firewalls to restrict certain websites
  3. Passwords are kept confidential
  4. Protecting physical computers i.e. server rooms
  5. Strong IT / ICT policy
  6. Access rights and authentication

Download below some of the Powerpoints presented during the event.