Amadou Sanneh, the minister of Economic Affairs has said that the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure collaboration with PURA are processing applications for TV licences following the adoption of the Digital Broadcasting Policy (DBP) by Cabinet.
Finance Minister Amadou Sanneh made this statement during the presentation of the 2018 budget before deputies at the National Assembly in Banjul. He said the policy will guide the implementation process of the Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) and as well as to set out a prudent approach towards the Digital Switch Over (DSO) in terms of increased revenue generation and employment opportunities for the country’s youth.
“This policy saw the ushering of the first private TV station-QTV, launched in November 2017. In repealing the repressive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act of 2009 and amending media laws, the ministry would enact a Freedom of Information Act to improve access to information and ensure freedom of expression,” he said.
Mr. Sanneh told deputies that the ICT Agency Bill has been drafted and will be presented to the National Assembly for adoption. Following the successful implementation of the ECOWAN project, he said that GAMTE was in the process of implementing the National Broadband Network (NBN) project that is intended to roll out additional fiber to the communities to help solve issues of digital divide locally.
He noted that GAMTEL has taken over the management of the International Gateway, and Cabinet approval has been granted to liberalise the International Call Gateway effective 2018.
As part of efforts to increase ICT gains, a new Post Saving Bank solution will become fully operational by 2018 and data migration is ongoing, he said. “Post cash has been introduced and GAMPOST branded cards backed by visa will be launched in 2018, to help achieve the financial inclusion on agenda of government.”
Mr. Sanneh further said the broadcasting sector has witnessed a significant policy shift with the liberalisation of television (TV) broadcasting and promoting media freedom.