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Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy embarked on a two-day retreat to discuss the Cybercrime Bill 2023

On Tuesday, 14th of May 2024, the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy of The Gambia embarked on a two-day retreat to discuss the Cybercrime Bill 2023 with Members of the National Assembly Select Committee on ICT and Education. The two-day retreat, which took place at the Bakadaji Hotel, was attended by key stakeholders in the ecosystem ranging from the law enforcement, judiciary, computer security, private sector, among other entities.

Mr. Sanusi Drammeh who chaired the opening ceremony, gave a brief introduction about the retreat highlighting its historical and policy context.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Hon. Ousman A. Bah graced the occasion. In his deliberations, he highlighted the importance of the Bill stating that it will serve as a comprehensive legislative framework to combat crime facilitated by or directed at computing devices, once enacted.

The Permanent Secretary, Mr. Lamin Camara of the Ministry dilated on current realities concerning the digital revolution. He highlighted the need to strengthen efforts to jealousy guard our digital infrastructure as criminals resort to utilizing ICTs to perpetrate crime.

The Bill discusses three main components, namely: substantive offenses, procedural powers, and international cooperation.

In March 2024, the Cybercrime Bill 2023 was tabled at the national assembly for a first and second reading before it was referred to the Committee for further scrutiny. The Committee which is expected to report to the wider Assembly about the outcome of its public consultations, is tasked, also, to convey its position on the Bill.

Hon. Bakary Badgie, National Assembly Member for Foni and Vice Chairperson of the ICT & Education Committee, stated the role of the National Assembly as an impartial institution tasked to take into account the concerns of stakeholders from a balanced approach to ensure national interest is achieved.

The retreat concluded on wednesday 15th May 2024 with a simulation exercise by resource personnel from key cybercrime stakeholders. They demonstrated the application of the Bill from the level of complaints, investigations, and judicial redress. Notable Experts, who participated in the Simulation, include:

1. Hon. Justice Sid K. Jobarteh, Judge of the High Court.

2. State Council, Mr. Alieu Gibba

3. Mrs. Ndey Touray, Cybercrime Officer

4. Mrs. Fatou L. Njie, Legislative Drafter

5. Mr. Musa Ndure Service Provider Security Engineer

6. Mr. Malick Sallah gmCSIRT Analyst

7. Mr.Momodou L. Kinteh Principal Cybersecurity Officer

8. Mr. Cherno Jallow, Cybersecurity Officer

9. Mr. Fanding Kinteh, Deputy Permanent Secretary.

10. Mr. Sanusi Ðrammeh, Director of Cybersecurity

Mr. Ebrima Darboe, the Deputy Permanent Secretary Finance and Administration of MOCDE gave the closing remarks. In his closing statement he emphasized the need for continued collaboration and advancing the role of combating cybercrime through legal and regulatory frameworks.