The Ministry shall:

(a) prepare the general policy of the information and communications sectors in The Gambia in consultation with the Authority and other stakeholders in the sectors as provided for in this Act, including a biennial national strategic plan for the sector in accordance with the policy which shall-

(i) encourage investment, on a competitive basis, in the information and communications sectors in The Gambia,

(ii) create an atmosphere for the provision of services to users at just, reasonable and affordable prices, in accordance with the latest technological developments in the sectors; and (iii) aim at strengthening the competitive position of The Gambia internationally in the areas of in-formation and communications technology;

(b) prepare draft legislation for submission to the Secretary of State in the information and communications sectors, in consultation with the Authority and after consultation with stakeholders in accordance with this Act;

(c) prepare a universal service policy for submission to the Secretary of State , in cooperation with the Authority and after consultation of other stakeholders and follow up the development of the policy for the purpose of expanding the scope of coverage of information and communications services, both horizontally and vertically, to meet the requirements of economic and social development in The Gambia;

(d) follow up the implementation of The Gambia’s commitments in international treaties in the information and communications and information technology sectors;

(e) coordinate the representation of The Gambia with States, and regional and inter-national organizations, unions, and com-missions concerned with information and communications, and, in collaboration with the Authority, the Secretary of State, and other stakeholders, safeguard The Gambia’s interest before those bodies;

(f) implement information and communications policies and plans in relation to the development of information and communications and in the interest of the creation and development of the information society, in particular by- (i) encouraging the setting of advanced education and training programmes in telecommunications and information technology, including the use of the Internet, electronic commerce, and electronic transactions (ii) promoting public awareness of the importance of the role of information and communications to the overall economic and social development and advancement of The Gambia, and (iii) promoting the advancement of research and development in the areas of information and communications and information technology;

(g) provide the necessary facilities to allow the Authority and designated members of the Armed Forces and security services to pre-pare-

(h) the National Plan for Frequency Assignment and the National Register of Frequencies, and (ii) procedures for the coordination among the members so as to ensure the optimal use of the radio frequencies and prevent harmful interference between frequencies assigned for civilian and military uses; and

(i) collect relevant information from the Authority and other Government Departments or private entities to enable the Department of State to accomplish its functions.