David Jeng, NEF Ambassador for The Gambia is the Business Support Cordinator for Startup Incubator Gambia. He is also a UNCTAD-Empretec National Certified Trainer and the Founder for Bliss Executives. He is an advocate for Sustainable development for Africa.
The Republic of The Gambia on the west coast of Africa is located on two banks of the River Gambia. With a population of about 1.5 million, it is the smallest country on the African continent and ranks 155 out of 177 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index.
The Gambia has seen tremendous developments in ICTs over the past few years. Progress has been made in telecommunications, yet the full impact of ICTs in the education sector is still yet to be realized and a draft policy is yet to be finalized. In those areas where progress has been made, the role of NGOs has been key.
The proposed Gambia National Information and Communication Infrastructure (NICI) Policy and Plans was designed to address the areas where ICT would facilitate the achievement of the Vision 2020 overall objective, which is to transform the nation into a middle-income country by 2020 through accelerating private sector development, restructuring economic management, developing the human capital base, and institutionalizing decentralized and democratic participatory government structures, processes, and systems. The overall objective for the policy is to “leapfrog” several stages of development by establishing a participatory approach in building human resources and a conducive environment that utilizes ICT as a platform to exchange data, information, and knowledge, and as a tool to implement applications and provide services to achieve higher growth rates in all spheres of socio-economic activities.