Rlg Communications Gambia and Aptech India Company have signed a multimillion dalasi franchise agreement to train the next generation of Gambian computer engineers, the former's managing director has disclosed.
Papa Yusupha Njie was speaking to Daily Observer in an exclusive interview as part of the paper's special publication to chronicle the developments registered by the Jammeh administration in the ICT sector.
Njie said by virtue of their status as a device assembling company, they must be able to create local content driven by creative software developed with "our people in mind to solve our problems by putting these life-changing applications on our rlg devices".
He explained that as part of this programme with Aptech, students who have been trained can also get an opportunity after the first two years of completing the ACCP diploma, to do a third year physically or through online studies with universities such as Middlesex, Portsmouth, and Plymouth amongst others and graduate with a software engineering degree right here at home.
"Ultimately we want to make sure that the "Connect Gambia - Vision 2020" project we have proposed to the government of the Gambia in providing Gambian assembled laptops, connected to the internet for every Gambian student going to primary, high school and university and tablets for schools with relevant school curriculum content in them. It is one that we hope can be replicated across the sub-region and creates more jobs through the assembly plants producing these devices, service centers and training programmes. It is a project that we hope will stand the test of time in the days, months and years ahead," he said.
Njie, also the chief executive officer of Unique Solutions, is of the view that the acquisition and implementation of Information and Communication Technologies in developing countries especially to the benefit of young people and communities at large is indeed a mission and vision for Rlg and Unique Solutions. This, he said, has been with them for almost 15 years when they started as a cybercafe.
"I am further encouraged to pursue and enhance this vision with the belief that when young Gambian youths or African youths for that matter are given a window of opportunity to educate themselves or make a living with the help of ICTs, their lives will be positively transformed as we continue to witness in our dynamic ICT sector in the Gambia.
A key ingredient of this success is the public private partnership that is at work between Rlg, Unique Solutions and government of the Gambia and its partners. I want to take this opportunity to thank His Excellency the president, Sheikh Professor Dr. Alhaji Yahya AJJ Jammeh Nasirul Deen Babili Mansa and his entire government for creating the enabling environment for companies like Unique Solutions and now Rlg Communications Gambia to leave a mark in the ICT landscape, making us partners in development along the way.
It is this support and that of the entire Gambian people and my business partner, the founder of the Rlg Group, Roland Agambire, whose vision we bought into many years ago, that has allowed us to have Rlg Gambia today making possible our expansion into the rest of the West African sub-region," he stated.
CEO Njie expressed hope that they will subsequently expand into the rest of the African market with a view to changing the lives of so many of young Africans.
"Indeed it is our time, Africa has risen," he concluded.