By Confidente Reporter
INFORMATION and Communication Technology (ICT) Minister, Tjekero Tweya, says government is not to blame for the country’s current economic crisis.
Speaking on Tuesday at the ICT Summit, which was held at the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM) this week, held under the theme ‘Leveraging ICT to unlock economic opportunities for an inclusive society’, Tweya said that Namibia, the SADC region, Africa and the world had been exposed to tough economic conditions, despite the narrow thinking from certain sectors of the economy that the current economic meltdown in Namibia was caused by government. “It just shows that some people do not follow regional, continental and world trends,” he said. The minister further said that young people continue to be at the epicentre of unemployment, which is overarching, and not only affects them, but also other age groups.
He urged the ICT professionals to work beyond the call of duty, to pave way for the youth to rapidly and smoothly penetrate the sector.
“Corporate Namibia and big ICT companies must start opening up their business models for broader shareholding, giving young people access to ICT, and rest assured, you will see an industrial revolution in ICT, once young people are elevated to strategic roles in ICT companies.”
Speaking at the same event, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, who delivered the keynote address, applauded Tweya’s ministry for making tremendous strides in the ICT industry. She said Namibia’s mobile phone network population coverage has increased exponentially to 95 percent. “While mobile subscriptions are recorded at 119.15 per 100 inhabitants, the number of active mobile broadband subscribers increased from 1.5 million in June 2016 to 1.6 million in June 2017. This means that more people are using the internet, via their mobile phones,” she said. Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said that it was a necessity for ICT services to become affordable to all users, in order to leverage ICT to unlock economic opportunities for an inclusive society, and Namibia was doing this.
“Research ICT Africa has rated Namibia as the second cheapest country within the SADC region, offering low-cost prepaid mobile broadband data. Comparing 1 gigabit of prepaid broadband data to other countries in the region, Namibia is ranked second lowest,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
“Penetration of telecommunication services has improved rapidly, due to the introduction of effective regulatory interventions, aimed to ensure fair competition and consumer protection in the telecommunication sector. These interventions resulted in the reduction of termination rates in Namibia from N$1.06 to N$0.10 for mobile and fixed operations,” she said.
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