(SLENA, 27 June, 2019): After her appointment and subsequent approval as the new Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Mamadie Gobbeh Kamara has paid a familiarization visit to the Sierra Leone Cable Limited (SALCAB) at its Cable Landing Station at Beach Road, Lumley.
The essence of this visit which took place on Monday 24 June was to get the Minister up to speed with SALCAB’s operations and also to establish an atmosphere of familiarity with Senior Management of SALCAB; an institution which falls under the purview of her Ministry’s supervision.
The Minister and her delegation were welcomed on behalf of Senior Management and staff of SALCAB, by the Deputy Managing Director, who explained in summary the operations and administrative structure of SALCAB.
From the technical standpoint of the Company, the Chief Technical Officer explained the Network typology of SALCAB and the processes of transmitting connectivity both locally and internationally.
The Chief Commercial Officer dilated on the products and services rendered by SALCAB to its clients. He mentioned the following as key products sold by SALCAB: IPLC, IP Transit, the National Fiber backbone (Terrestrial Fiber) and Collocation to mobile network operators (MNOs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who constitute the critical block of clients for the Company
Both the IPLC and IP Transit are circuits sold to MNOs and ISPs through the International link, and they sprout through Portugal to Sierra Leone via the Ocean and terminate at the cable landing station at the Lumley beach in Freetown.
The terrestrial Fiber is that which runs through the land across the country and provides internet connectivity to major towns and cities. Primarily, SALCAB purely sells broadband internet to Mobile network operators (MNOs) and Internet service providers (ISPs) and as well provide, host and maintenance services to the E-governance server which is owned by the Ministry of Information and Communications.
The CCO further abreast the Minister on the internet penetration percentage in the country. Momentary, penetration rate stands at 15% nationwide, and of this, the MNOs provide up to 13% and the ISPs, through the broadband uptake stands at 2% which is still very low, he stated.
In her response, the Minister expressed her delight and good impression with the good work of SALCAB under the current leadership of MD Kebbay, and as such, she decided to meet with the people behind the excellent work at SALCAB. She promoted the spirit of teamwork, which she said has been part of her mantra throughout her professional life. According to her, teamwork will immensely contribute to the maximization of productivity and enhance effective collaboration in the work environment.
She expressed her willingness to promote an open-door policy between her office and SALCAB and encouraged the sharing of information between the two offices in the spirit of fostering a mutual working relationship between her Ministry and SALCAB.
Minister Gobeh Kamara asked for better understanding of the design and implementation strategies for the two much sensitive projects of SALCAB now under public raider: the SALCAB Tech Start-up Competition and the Connectivity for Schools project. The project portfolio holder and by extension, the CCO carefully elucidated on the importance of the two projects, their specifics and necessarily why their implementation at this moment.
In her closing remarks, she expressed optimism in SALCAB’s contribution to national development owing to its current trajectory. She also assured the Company of escalating some of the issues raised in the meeting that are of concern to SALCAB for Government attention and action.