Nam’s ICT Summit to unlock economic opportunities
By Sharon Kavhu
Windhoek – Namibia’s fourth national Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Summit is meant to unlock economic opportunities through discussions of ICT trends, opportunities, innovations and challenges being faced by the industry, says Namibia’s ICT Minister Tjekero Tweya.
Speaking at the official opening of the ICT Summit on Monday, Tweya said the summit is also a platform for people in the ICT industry to exhibit their products and services in-line with the agenda.
“The National ICT Summit creates a platform for the ICT industry to discuss trends, opportunities, innovations and challenges facing the industry locally and globally. Furthermore, it also brings together players in the ICT industry to exhibit and showcase the latest ICT trends, products and services,” said Tweya.
He said the summit is being held at a time when the world is on the edge of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way people live, work, and relate to one another.
Tweya added: “In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. It is not yet known just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global community, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.” This year’s ICT summit is being held under the theme: ‘Leveraging ICT to unlock economic opportunities for an inclusive society’ and Tweya says the theme is the most appropriate one considering the ICT current events globally.
“The theme also relates to our mandate as a ministry, that of laying the foundation for the accelerated, use and development of information and communication technology in Namibia and coordinate information management within Government,” he added.
He said ICT plays a pivotal role in any society; hence it is imperative that his ministry realises the objective of inclusivity and the spirit of Harambee where no one must feel left out in the ICT developments.
While the summit is an opportunity to unlock opportunities, Tweya said both the public and government have roles to play in ensuring opportunities are explored.
“I would like to see ICT usage not only as gadgets or the latest technology industry, but a tool that could provide excellent service, increase productivity and knowledge enhancement. It must also be used as a tool to add value to our natural resources through ICT skills amongst others,” said Tweya.
“At this juncture, I wish to encourage the small and medium businesses to start using ICT tools to market and promote their products in order to advance the accessibility to their customers. As government we are committed to ensure effective service delivery through the enhanced e-governance and e-service programmes, with the aim to take services closer to the grassroots people.
“Already various stakeholders have commenced in this regard and the improvement can be experienced in the modern, electronic system for the validation of real time border control, speedy approval and issuing of passports and visa applications, to mentioned a few,” he said.
Tweya said his ministry is working on the 100 percent network coverage project aimed at facilitating the ICT infrastructure development in Namibia to ensure interconnection and that every citizen in the country has access to ICT services.
However, the Namibia’s ICT minister also highlighted that more needs to be done in terms of inter-ministerial linkages of data of the various government and state owned entities for a better coordination in enhancing service delivery.