WINDHOEK – Minister of Information and Communication Technology Stanley Simataa has urged ICT leaders to use the upcoming National ICT Summit to galvanise national efforts aimed at improving and expanding existing ICT network infrastructure in the country.
Simataa said this during the 5th National ICT Summit breakfast meeting in the capital yesterday. The ministry is set to host the summit from October 15 to 17 in Windhoek under the theme ‘Digital Transformation for an ICT Smart Nation’.
Simataa said that during his engagements with youths through the Open & Big Data Hackathon in Namibia he was fortunate enough to hear first-hand what their expectations are of the ICT sector.
“As a sector we must rise to their expectations for as digital natives they form the bedrock of our client base,” said Simataa.
“The youths yearn to be accorded the opportunity to unleash their innovativeness,” he added.
He said they aspire to the creation of an ICT ecosystem that will provide the requisite environment where the fruits of their innovations will be harvested.
“An environment that will not hijack their innovations and one that will not frustrate but facilitate the uptake of their innovations! We must therefore leverage this platform to unleash the educational, social and economic capital of our people,” he said.
Through ICT, he said, Namibia can unearth the hidden entrepreneurial potential of all its citizens.
He added that the government has developed a set of strategies and plans to transform Namibia into a digitized country that uses, promotes, innovates and benefits from the numerous digital offerings the industry can offer.
Anchoring this transformation, Simataa said, would require and bring about new efforts to develop the plethora of public service technical skills and capabilities and rethink the way digital infrastructure is designed.
“A country that embraces digital e-government places its citizens at the heart of the experience to ensure that everyone benefits from the provision of digitally smart services,” he said.
The annual National ICT Summit aims to bring together industry stakeholders and provide an ICT platform for networking, create awareness of ICT usage, projects and initiatives and appreciate challenges facing the industry and its consumers in Namibia and globally.
It also aims to strengthen and foster long-term relationships between all ICT stakeholders.
Simataa said given the limited resources at the country’s disposal, strategic partnerships with the ICT industry are and will continue to be absolute imperatives for the successful hosting of the 5th National ICT Summit and subsequent summits.
He therefore invited new and existing potential sponsors to come on board to ensure that the event continues to be a success.
According to Simataa, this year’s summit will further define the roadmap for the development and effective integration of technology, as well as the agenda for growing ICT for an inclusive society.
“We must position ICT as a vital cog for achieving greater operational efficiency and efficacy for service delivery, for achieving the full spectrum of the sustainable development goals, subsequently for addressing poverty, thereby ensuring social justice and equity,” he said.