By Donna Collins
THE modern N$12 million MICT Erongo Regional building inaugurated in Swakopmund by the Minister Information and Communication Technology, Tjekero Tweya is considered a milestone in the efforts of the Ministry making information accessibility to all parts of Namibia.
“I wish to caution that while the impressiveness of this office building is a cause for celebration, the full significance of what this building represents extends far beyond its walls,” said the Minister in his address.
He explained that the new Erongo Regional office represents a gateway to information, and is an essential developmental tool in reinforcing access of Government information to the citizens of the country.
He also encouraged the public and especially the youth to utilise the services provided by the office, explaining that the regional office had opened its doors to young aspiring artists to record in the high-tech studio, which has been set up at one end of the building.
The centre will also provide for internet facilities, in addition to video production, sound services provision, Government publications, to mention some. In addition there are eight offices, a reception area, a boardroom, and internet cafe plus media room.
The Ministry has already launched a ‘Ministerial Customer Chart’, with suggestion boxes on display at the office, in order for customers and the general public to give their feed-back on the service delivery of the Ministry.
It was mentioned that the migration to digital format will make the Government more responsive for requiring information, as well as providing an easier process for citizens to access public records, information and Government services through the internet.
Speaking too Amos Nguaiko who is the regional head for MICT, who has served the Ministry for the past 26 years, and is now based at the new office centre, mentioned that the building was completed in May this year. “We see this new MICT regional office as a positive way forward, to ultimately benefit our people to become a more knowledgeable society,” said Nguaiko. “It also provides a conducive working environment for delivering our services to the public in and efficient manner.
“We are also very excited about the introduction of the first Internet Cafe – a feature which is sure to become a valuable contribution to the public, especially the schools who can for the first time access information for projects and other learning subjects at our Ministry.”
It is against this backdrop that the Ministry has installed internet facilities to 26 Multi-Purpose Community Centres (MPCC) established in remotest parts of all 14 regions, with support of the MICT to lay foundations in rural areas for e-governance.
Stating that the Erongo is a relatively prosperous region in Namibian, with the second highest per capita income deriving from mining, fishing and tourism, the Minister appealed to the business sector to complement Government’s efforts in establishing MPCC centres in rural areas.
“This will not only ensure equitable access to ICTs by all citizens including disadvantaged groups and rural communities, but the access to communication will certainly improve their lives and livelihood,” concluded Tweya.
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