Knowledge is the key to Namibia’s prosperity

31 January 2020 | People

Jan Coetzee

Namibia is focused on creating a knowledge-based society where technology, innovation and entrepreneurship at every socio-economic level becomes the norm. This is a bold and major challenge for us as a nation.

Vision 2030 and the Harambee Prosperity Plan are both working towards this goal. This means that we have to do things differently and we have to do them fast. We need to stop conforming to the norm and present new methods of working and truly think outside of the box - perhaps even throw the box away.

Being able to see and act upon potential opportunities and possibilities for change through innovation is the only path to success. However, we need people to do it. This means that the business environment needs to change. It can only survive if Namibia can successfully compete and even flourish in the face of the range of emerging adverse and fluctuating business and economic conditions. We need to become service oriented. That does not just mean offering high-quality services, but adding value to the economy by selling services. Whether we offer ICT services, hosted services or even solutions like call centres for large international corporations. We have English and German speakers, internet access is relatively fast and stable and the labour force plentiful. The opportunity is there.

To set up would be a challenge for us as a nation, but it could really provide Namibia with opportunities and develop our economy and our people. We are not encumbered by old networks or ICT equipment that needs costly upgrades. We can fully embrace new technology, embrace cloud services and avoid mistakes that the early adopters made. We can engage and implement best practices and adapt them for our own needs and circumstances. We will engage and implement the best possible solutions, hardware and people to continue to improve our ICT rankings in the coming years, as well as gaining a competitive edge in the region since we are willing to use technology and innovation to our advantage.

We should develop home-grown talent through internships with relevant companies and by stimulating tertiary institutions to continue focusing on ICT skills development for the knowledge-based economy. If we look at other emerging nations that have made giant economic strides, it’s because they have embraced the service industries in all their forms. Vietnam, India and even Rwanda are developing and growing fast because they are focusing on this.

We have a chance to build networks, acquire and develop tailor-made technology that suits our particular set of challenges and issues, using the latest technology available. Consider the West Africa Cable System (WACS) or our 4G network that has connected our large but sparsely populated country. This is not a pipe-dream and certainly not impossible.

It almost sounds too good to be true and often seems a long way off. We can establish an environment where everything is set up to stimulate an innovative economy and be a catalyst for an innovative economic sector. This environment is facilitated by high-speed internet that is always on, stable and available nationwide. That is how we fulfil Vision 2030.

This is the only way in which the Namibian government and business leaders’ vision can be achieved. Another essential aspect of making Namibia a knowledge-based and driven society is through creating a business climate where processes are simplified and easy to carry out. With organisations having access to the right advice and making sure that knowledge and experience is developed, harnessed, shared and retained within the borders of Namibia.

By creating products and services that people value and cherish, and by effectively using technology, we can be competitive and become a knowledge-based society and be a new ‘success story’ for our continent, Africa, and the world.

* Jan Coetzee is the managing director of Headway Consulting

Similar News

 

Consumer education

16 hours ago | People

Ndangi Katoma 8 things you need to know about Old Mutual’s new funeral insurance.If you are the breadwinner in your family, the day may come...

Creating powerful change

16 hours ago | People

Monique Adams Talita Horn is passionate about making a change in the corporate governance field in Namibia as well as contributing to the national...

Local lawyer makes waves

16 hours ago | People

Mariselle Stofberg The friendly and savvy Nicole Kloppers is a mother of two who took a leap of faith in opening her own law...

Dedicated, dynamic and diverse

16 hours ago | People

Mariselle Stofberg With more than 28 years of experience in the retail and business banking spheres, Leon Koch will be a valuable addition to...

Making working hard look effortless

1 week ago - 11 September 2020 | People

Ian de WaalWhen I walk into the King Price Insurance office every morning, I grab myself a coffee, sometimes a popcorn and then start grafting....

A connector of positive change

1 week ago - 11 September 2020 | People

MARISELLE STOFBERGZenaune Kamberipa aspires to “make an impact that matters” in everything he does. “That is a slogan that I learned on my journey, and...

A connector of positive change

1 week ago - 11 September 2020 | People

MARISELLE STOFBERGZenaune Kamberipa aspires to “make an impact that matters” in everything he does. “That is a slogan that I learned on my journey, and...

Making it all make sense

1 week ago - 11 September 2020 | People

JUSTICIA SHIPENA Ashley Auxab is purpose-driven and goal-oriented man who is currently employed by Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) as an IT technician.Auxab told Careers...

Frameworks driven by Harmoni

1 week ago - 11 September 2020 | People

ESTER KAMATI Born in Windhoek, Harmoni Beukes grew up in Rehoboth, where she attended Ruimte Primary School and thereafter M&K Gertze High School. Upon completing...

Still early days but already making a huge impact

1 week ago - 11 September 2020 | People

MICHELLINE NAWATISES Laurencia Prinzonsky was born and bred in Windhoek and grew up in a one-bedroom home with her mom and late father, six older...

Latest News

Consumer education

16 hours ago | People

Ndangi Katoma 8 things you need to know about Old Mutual’s new funeral insurance.If you are the breadwinner in your family, the day may come...

Creating powerful change

16 hours ago | People

Monique Adams Talita Horn is passionate about making a change in the corporate governance field in Namibia as well as contributing to the national...

Virus knocks Oryx into the...

16 hours ago | Business

Covid-19 measures devastating retail and hospitality in the last three months of Oryx Properties' 2020 financial year resulted in the locally-listed group suffering a loss...

!Gawaxab on his first 100...

16 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKU - Even before the coronavirus crisis, Namibia’s economy was contracting, unemployment was high and fiscal space severely constrained if not exhausted, creating an...

Itula reacts to 'autocracy' accusations

16 hours ago | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKIndependent Patriots for Change (IPC) leader Dr Panduleni Itula says he is unshaken by critics and aggrieved members who have labelled him a “hypocrite”...

I won't muzzle Fishrot probe...

16 hours ago | Banking

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKBank of Namibia governor Johannes !Gawaxab has scoffed at claims that his appointment as the head of the central bank was politically motivated and...

We are not out of...

16 hours ago | Health

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKThe Covid-19 state of emergency expired last night and the onus is now on each individual to exercise maximum personal responsibility and vigilance, President...

Local lawyer makes waves

16 hours ago | People

Mariselle Stofberg The friendly and savvy Nicole Kloppers is a mother of two who took a leap of faith in opening her own law...

Head-on collision claims four lives

16 hours ago | Accidents

ELIZABETH JOSEPHKEETMANSHOOPA car accident 15 km from Koës killed four people at around noon on Wednesday.It is alleged that two vehicles, one belonging to NamPower...

Load More