Stakeholders in The Gambia review of the draft new legal and regulatory framework to govern the digital economy in West Africa – African Business
Stakeholders in the digital economy ecosystem in The Gambia gathered in Banjul, The Gambia, in the presence of the ECOWAS Commission, from 15th to 17th November 2022 for a national consultation on the draft new legal and regulatory framework to govern the digital economy in West Africa.
The ECOWAS Commission and Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy of The Gambia co-organised the consultation meeting. Officials from the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency and Gambia Consumer and Competition Protection Commission attended.
Mr. Claude Kondor was the Political Advisor and delivered the statement on behalf of Her Excellency Miatta French, Resident Representative of ECOWAS Commission. She highlighted the fact that the digital economy sector is characterised by rapid innovation and continuous improvement of existing service offerings. She stated that the importance of these new services and innovations to the economy makes it imperative that regulators and policymakers develop a regulation that fosters growth and development of these services in a fair and enabling environment, while protecting consumers’ interests. The ECOWAS Commission has initiated the project to develop a new harmonised legal-regulatory framework to govern West Africa’s digital economy sector. It will address the issues that have emerged in the sector.
The Permanent Secretary of The Gambia’s Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Mrs. Amie Nyang, addressed the meeting and thanked the Commission for the review of the existing Community texts, which were adopted over a decade ago to address certain thematic areas of ICT and to modify such texts to reflect modern realities. She noted that the initiative was timely and in alignment with the Government of The Gambia’s own policy direction to give focus to the growth of the digital economy.
The previous Ministry of Information and Communications Infrastructure was decoupled to create the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, which has been given the mandate of leading the digital transformation of The Gambia. She also mentioned the fact that similar to the current review and revision of the regional legal and regulation framework, a review and update of the Information and Communications Act 2009 (the law governing the sector in The Gambia) is currently underway to fix gaps and make it fit for purpose.
She praised experts from all stakeholder groups for their positive responses to the call for discussion on the draft regional text. She also charged them to make contributions that reflect The Gambia’s aspirations.
The draft Regulation was reviewed by experts over three (3) days. They provided feedback and comments that will be considered in finalizing it. The feedback from the national consultation exercises in Member States will be consolidated and incorporated in an updated draft which will be presented to the ECOWAS Ministers in charge of Telecommunications/ICT/Digitalisation for their approval, prior to submission to the relevant statutory organ of ECOWAS for its adoption.
Distributed by APO Group, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
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