New ICT policies to be rolled out this year

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-Access to information, social media use, a communication plan and review of national information are some of the policies for which legislation would be rolled out this year, according to information minister Tjekero Tweya.

“All these pieces of legislation are aimed at encouraging the public to take part in decision-making processes and to hold the government accountable where and when they feel dissatisfied with the provision of government services and also to tell the government where we are good,” Tweya told parliament in his comments on the national budget.

The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology received N$433.7 million for the 2017/2018 financial year, which, according to Tweya, constitutes a reduction of 14 percent from the previous allocation of last year.

Part of those funds would go towards the facilitation of institutional policy and information technology infrastructure development.

“The ministry will continue to oversee and facilitate ICT infrastructure development through the expansion and upgrading of modern, affordable and reliable ICT infrastructure and services which are imperative for economic development and global competitiveness,” said Tweya.

During the 2017/18 financial year, two biannual ICT stakeholders consultative forums will be conducted to serve as the platform where government and the ICT industry discuss key ICT-related programmes, projects and initiatives and review developments in the ICT sector.

The minister said the Internet Exchange Point (IXP) growth will be coordinated to ensure that more local internet service providers (ISPs) are connected to the (IXP) while the operationalization of the Scan ICT programme website will be maintained to ensure that accurate ICT data is available to users. The National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), which will serve as the national focus point for coordinating cyber security incidents and respond to cyber attacks in the country, will be facilitated.

“We, as the government, are committed to deliver high-speed broadband to all corners of Namibia and enable seamless government service delivery to all the regions,” he said.

In this regard, the ministry in partnership with the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development will upgrade the government network infrastructure to boost internet speed. A framework for software development cost-sharing will be established while the establishment of e-education, e-health, e-agriculture, e-transport and e-mining will be facilitated during this coming financial year. “To pilot this year, the state of region address, popularly known as SORA, will be broadcast live,” said Tweya.

In order to ensure that all Namibians in identified areas will be covered by telecommunication and broadcasting services, the 100 percent Network Coverage project will be implemented in conjunction with relevant stakeholders during this financial year

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