Minister of Information and Communication Alhaji Ben Kargbo

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Information and Communication, Alhaji Ben Kargbo, says there is a need for more public private partnerships to connect all communities.

The Minister was speaking at the CTO’s 7th annual Connecting Rural Communities Africa 2012 summit, held in Freetown, Sierra Leone. President Ernest Bai Koroma, highlighted the importance of the conference theme, “Rural Broadband—Making the Economics Work”, noting that challenges of terrain, literacy and affordability had kept internet penetration below 1% of the population in Sierra Leone.

However, the country recently ushered in an open access regime and initiatives to promote the use of computers in schools and libraries as well as in rural settlements.

Also speaking at the summit, the Ministry’s Director of Communications, Mohamed Alie Bah, said: “next-generation policies were desperately needed to realize the national vision of making Sierra Leone an internationally-competitive knowledge society.”

A panel of national network operators, including Afcom, Airtel, Sierratel and Africell, shared their commitment  to universal coverage against the backdrop of a favourable policy and regulatory framework.

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