By Lamin B. Darboe
The Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure and overseer of the new Ministry of Communication & Digital Economy (MoCDE), Ebrima Sillah, has highlighted government’s commitment to improving efficiency and effectiveness in public service delivery, by digitising revenue collection and public procurement systems.
He was speaking during the launching ceremony of the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Framework (2022-2026), held on Tuesday, May 17th, at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre in Bijilo.
The realisation of the country’s digital agenda, he pointed out, “is the surest way of making government more accountable to its citizens and achieving sustained economic growth for the country”. He recognised the partnership and support of World Bank to this agenda.
Mr Sillah also commended World Bank for supporting The Gambia to nurture its new found democracy, ensure accountability and transparency for greater citizens’ participation, and for enhancing inclusion and sustained economic growth of the country.
Group picture of participants
Minister Sillah went on to highlight progress being made by the Barrow government. He mentioned the ongoing security sector reforms, which he said will engender public confidence in the security services, but also make the country’s security institutions to be more responsive and accountable to the citizens.
He said the issuance of television broadcasting license to five private TV companies, and licence to thirty commercial radios, nine community radios, and two educational radio stations by government, not only provide the platform for Gambians to express their views but also encourage dialogue between public officials on the use and management of state resources.
About the enactment of the Access to Information Act in October 2021, the minister said “it sets in motion efforts aimed at making government more accountable to the citizenry by making it mandatory for government to provide timely and credible information on its activities or engagements to the public. This, he noted, ensures transparent flow of information.
He went on to revealed that to ensure smooth implementation of this Act, government through the Ministry of Information, is in the process of developing the necessary structures, processes and regulations to support timely implementation of the Act.
The Digital Economy acting minister said MoCDE has developed the ICT for Development Policy 2018-2028, “which envisions improving the quality of life and socio-economic status of Gambians by developing and deploying ICTs in all sectors of the economy”.