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President Koroma commissions Commonwealth Telecoms Conference

President Koroma commissions Commonwealth Telecoms Conference

June 20, 2012 – President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma (center in photo) declared open a three day telecommunications conference at the Miatta Conference Hall, Brookfields, Freetown.

The conference is the 7th annual Connecting Rural Communities (CRC) conference organized by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) hosted in Sierra Leone, under the theme: “The road to rural broadband: making the economics work.”

The event brought different stakeholders in the telecommunications industry together in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown to be discussing in the next two days, key topics such as catalyzing internet and broadband used in rural areas, policy and regulatory tools for stimulating rural demand and supply, context appropriate devices and infrastructure, removing national digital devices; case studies from commonwealth and beyond, measuring and understanding the socio-economic impact of rural ICT development and other emerging needs.

Speaking in the opening session of the conference, President Ernest Bai Koroma said his government considers broadening citizens access to resources and opportunities, irrespective of their social class and geographical location as a core venture of the state. He implied this commitment to mean that his government is building roads to give access for development to take place in every corner of the country, introduced the Free Healthcare to enhance peoples health and gaining livelihoods, developing agriculture to improve farmers access to input market and income.

He said since he assumed power in 2007 he made sure that his government placed emphasis in the creation of Information and Communication and Technology as a major tool to employ to ensure national development. He said the government was confronted with many challenges which they have overcome and that the presence of other African Ministers and Telecommunication stakeholders is testament to the giant strides his government has made to make the growth of ICT real in the country. President Koroma said ICT is an important component of governance and it enhances improved quality of reference in making the world a global village as internet facilities makes it easy to access E-Leaning, E medicine, E–technology, and other facilities.

Cross section of the attendees at the opening session of the CTO conference, at the Miatta Conference Center, Brooksfields, Freetown

Michala Mackay, Director of Legal and Licensing Affairs, Natcom, serving as Chair of the CTO conference

Siray Timbo, Chairman, National Telecommunication Commission of Sierra Leone

Chair of the conference Michala Mackay commended the organizers for hosting such an important conference aimed at transforming technology from the analogue system to a digitalized version which means the country is moving with the global trends of improved technology. She said ICT is sure to provide lot of access, motivation, and tools.

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