Nicholas Jatta of Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) delivered the opening remarks and commended MOICI and WARCIP for their efforts in seeing this project go through which led to the subsequent validation and consultation workshop.
The Director General of Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) Mr. Ansumana Sanneh welcomed the participants and emphasized on the importance of the documents and how to move forward with its implementation. He also elaborated on the importance of open access to communication information and how it can contribute towards the socio-economic development of the country.
He thanked MOICI for conducting the research and WARCIP as well for funding the project.
The Permanent Secretary, MOICI, also delivered a speech on the importance of open access communication and how it can benefit the Gambia as a nation. He talked about some of the similar initiatives under the Ministry such as the ECOWAN project and the NICI Policy, which has already been completed and validated, as other measures taken by The Gambia government to ensure open access to communication information for every Gambian.
A presentation on the documents was done by the PWC representatives Mr. Alastair Macpherson and Michael Hardt who were assigned with the task of conducting the research on market conditions. In their presentation, the duo informed the audience that there are three most important points to consider in open access as listed underneath:
- Liberalization of the information gateway
- Assessing effective competition
- Regulation remedies should be appropriate and proportionate
They also talked about the Legal regulatory framework. Some of the observations made by the participants included the possibility of co-location of service provider’s towers to which the consultants warned that it should not be mandatory for service providers to co-locate but it should rather be encouraged to reduce cost effects.