Mrs Neneh Macdouall-Gaye, Secretary of State for Communications and Information Technology has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft Africa for cooperation and support in various areas of Information and Communication Technology development.

SoS Gaye signed this MoU in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, at the just concluded ICT Best Practices Forum for West and Central Africa, organised by the Microsoft, in collaboration with the African Development Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, where she led a Gambian delegation to the forum.

The Ouagadougou forum opened by President Blaise Compare of Burkina-Faso was attended by more than 350 participants, including three Heads of State, Ministers of ICT, Heads of ICT agencies in 17 African countries, International Financial Institutions, Regional Economic Communities, academia, media, youth and Civil Society Organisations.

According to a press release from the Department of State for Communications and Information Technology, a team of Microsoft officials are expected in Banjul soon for a joint commission meeting to discuss matters of programme intervention.

At the forum during a round table discussion, SoS Macdouall- Gaye said that in closing the digital gap, there has to be more accessed to equipment, such as computers. She then noted that for it to happen, the high cost of equipment to the developing countries must be reduced- a view re-echoed by Mr Orlando Ayala, Senior Vice President of Microsoft.

SoS Macdouall Gaye further highlighted The Gambia government's policies and strategies in creating opportunities for the youth. This, she said, includes building capacity in ICT. She, however, noted that more has to be done in this area, which she believes can be better achieved through Public-Private partnership.

During the forum, SoS Macdouall-Gaye also held bilateral meetings with officials of Microsoft which includes Mr Orlando Ayala Microsoft Senior Vice President and Dr Sheikh Modibo Diarra, Microsoft Chairman of Africa, who is also the Vice President of the United Nations World Science Ethics Committee.

The Daily Observer

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