ICT a Foundation for Namibia’s Growth

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By Desie Heita

Windhoek

Government regards Information Communication and Technology (ICT) as an instrument that could transform the nation into a knowledge-based society, Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Joel Kaapanda, said.

Deputy Minister Raphael Dinyando, who delivered Kaapanda’s speech at Telecom’s Information, Communication and Technology Summit, said the usage of ICT is essential in creating new skills, generating growth and technological change across the whole economy, and is closely related to the transformation of government and business.

“ICT development in Namibia rests on three pillars: access to ICT infrastructure; ability and affordability for Namibian citizens; and appropriate technologies and applications to provide added value. Any contribution to these areas would be welcome,” said Kaapanda.

This is Telecom’s second two-day annual summit on ICT. This year’s theme was “Sharing Collective Wisdom”.

Among the many speakers was Martin Nangolo who gave a presentation on the electronic submission of tax returns. In South Africa, taxpayers have the option of submitting their tax returns via the Internet, a solution partly credited with the successful rate of revenue collection.

Speakers spoke of “changing economic trends,” “globalisation,” “innovation”, “evolution,” and “organisational approach.” The two-day summit was billed as “an intimate gathering of key decision-makers with a strong emphasis on a very high level of networking opportunities”.

Kaapanda also said the new Information and Communication Bill, still under discussion, is aimed at promoting a regulatory environment that is fair, transparent and predictable within nationally and globally defined agendas for sustainable development.

“Our economic survival in this ICT-driven world depends on our ability to efficiently use and adapt ICT in every socio-economic sphere. Indeed, ICT is widely recognised as a tool to make a positive impact on the lives of citizens and on the development processes of economically-challenged countries like ours,” said Kaapanda.

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