ONDANGWA - The Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), Stanley Simataa, says the creation of e-governance services will remain illusory if the youth are not empowered and become information technology savvy.
Speaking at the official handover of information technology equipment meant for the Multi-Purpose Community Centres in the Uukwiyuushona and Ondangwa constituencies in the Oshana Region, Simataa said ICT (information and communication technology) has become so indispensable in every aspect of human life that it has virtually become impossible to make progress except with some passable knowledge about ICT.
He said this has prompted government to empower the youth through Multi-Purpose Community Centres (MPCCs) that are being funded through the MICT ministry. Ten constituency offices out of 107 constituencies in the country have already benefited from the initiative.
The equipment range from digital video cameras, photocopy machines, multimedia computers, multifunction printers and LCD TV screens to public address (PA) systems.
“In future, people will not have to travel long distances to towns for services like getting identity documents, passports or registering their businesses. This will be done online after the introduction of e-government – therefore supporting the MPCCs with equipment will help sharpen the youth and the community at large with ICT skills that they will need for such services and these services will be available in their communities at constituency offices,” he said.
He urged young people to take advantage of the equipment to gain ICT skills that will help them get employment and to keep them busy so that they can refrain from alcohol and drug abuse.
“You can use the video cameras to record your weddings and keep records of the events for future reference,” said Simataa.
Simataa said traditional leaders can also use the equipment to record their traditional practices so that they can be shown to the young.
The Governor of Oshana Region, Clemens Kashuupulwa, called on the recipients of the equipment to use them wisely and to protect them from thieves.
“Please, these multi-purpose centres should be fully functional. This equipment should not collect dust and remain unused,” said Kashuupulwa, who also commended government for providing the equipment.
The equipment is to be operated by trained youth volunteers in their respective constituencies, who have set up rules and guidelines on the handling, use and operation of the equipment.