Digital revolution will fundamentally change life

14 October 2019 | Ministries

The information ministry is in the final stages of developing a National Digital Strategy which would guide the country's digitisation agenda.

The deputy minister of information and communication technology, Engel Nawatiseb, says it is vital that young Namibians understand how the internet will transform their way of life in the next few years.

Speaking at the sixth ICT Summit last week, Nawatiseb said no one has a full grasp of the impacts of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The conference had the theme 'Accelerating Digital Transformation' and ran for three days.

“However, experts warn us that it is a revolution that will fundamentally change the way in which we live, work, deliver services and even the way we relate to one another,” Nawatiseb said.

He emphasised that it is important for the government and stakeholders to consider what this revolution will mean for Namibia and how it will affect youth unemployment in the country.

He added that government must determine the skills needed to harness the potential presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“No one expert or institution has all the answers to these and other complex questions. These questions and concepts have to be answered in a consultative manner by all stakeholders,” said Nawatiseb.

He also encouraged businesses to encourage innovation by supporting and investing in the innovative concepts showcased at the ICT conference.



Not left behind

In his keynote address Vice-president Nangolo Mbumba said Namibia cannot be left behind and this is why the government invested in the WACS (West Africa Cable System) submarine cable which links southern Africa, the rest of Africa and Europe.

According to him e-governance has been embraced by the Namibian government structures.

“Although this needs to be accelerated, the provision of government services to our citizens has been made efficient, virtual and transparent.

“With timely provision of services to the citizens, particularly civil documentation and other government activities such as the e-birth certificate, e-ID, e-passport, marriage certificates and death certificates, we have been able to inculcate and entrench a new culture of efficiency, transparency and accountability,” he said.

Mbumba said the government's overall objective was to remove impediments for businesses to provide immediate information and to enable digital communication via e-business platforms.

According to him that would improve Namibia's competitiveness locally and globally, thereby improving the ease of doing business in the country.

“Moreover, this will foster an investment-friendly environment for both local and international investors,” he said.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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