Gambia’s cost of internet data highest in sub-region – MIL report

Gambia’s cost of internet data highest in sub-region – MIL report

According to Mansafing Law Chambers consultancy report on Competency Gap Assessment on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) in The Gambia, the country has one of the highest costs of internet data in the sub-region.

The report added that it is often argued that the high cost of internet remains one of the primary hindrances to internet access in the country, where more than 40% of individuals live below the poverty line of US$1.25 a day.

“The introduction of 3G wireless internet services for mobile has made internet more accessible, albeit only for a small subset of the population who can afford the data packages,” the report revealed.

During the validation of the report held at Baobab Hotel, Junkung Jobarteh, founder of Mansafing Law Practice informed that the legal chamber was established in 2000 adding that they have been doing consultancy, especially for international organisations.

Mr. Jobarteh said the MIL report validated was commissioned by UNESCO. He added that as part of the consultancy, they have engaged many youth leaders and stakeholders to understand the MIL level on various competencies that are missing among youth leaders in order to understand and partake in the political and socio-economic development of the country.

“The consultancy is to look at those gaps that exist among youth organisations, leaders and other stakeholders and bring recommendations that can be implemented by UNESCO. The report is about access to information by young people and what is preventing access to information.  It also looks at how young people use the information they access in terms of developing themselves, the society, and actively participate in the political activity of the country.”

He continued that the report made some findings on the obstacles to access to information by young people that triggered recommendations on how to deal with those obstacles.

Lamin Jahateh, national project officer for UNESCO Dakar in The Gambia, said: “The MIL Competency Gap Assessment is part of the UN Peacebuilding Fund project that is jointly implemented by UNESCO, UNDP, and UNFPA in collaboration with the Government of The Gambia.  The two-year project is titled ‘Young Women and Men as Stakeholders in Ensuring Peaceful Democratic Processes and Advocates for the Prevention of Violence and Hate Speech’.”

Under its component, he stated that UNESCO has consistently been nurturing and promoting MIL in The Gambia as a powerful tool to counter hate speech and disinformation, and enhance peacebuilding efforts. 

Jahateh continued that MIL is globally recognised as an educational area that needs to be promoted, particularly when aiming at building understanding between individuals from different religious and cultural backgrounds, and countering the ugly phenomena of hate speech and fake news. 

“The findings of the assessment will, among other things, inform UNESCO’s future capacity-building programs for young people on MIL.”

Source: The Point

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