Namibia lacking in digital infrastructure

Audrin Mathe

Namibia falls below global and regional averages in digital infrastructure, the national digital strategy for 2024 to 2028 draft policy shows.

The draft strategy was made available yesterday after the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) held a validation workshop
Another challenge, according to the report, is human capital and innovation, which are crucial for digital transformation.

“While Namibia has a solid foundation for developing a robust digital framework, there are notable gaps and challenges that need to be addressed,” the draft report noted.

The report added that opportunities exist in harnessing digital trends for economic growth, innovation and societal benefits.

The country has, however, shown improvement in key areas such as financing, governance and institutional frameworks within the global digital transformation context.

Information and communication technology executive director Audrin Mathe at the workshop yesterday said the government has made significant progress in its journey to develop a comprehensive strategy.

Mathe said the ministry has held extensive stakeholder engagements which have culminated in a validation workshop.

“The product we are validating today results from intensive stakeholder engagements and consultations,” he said.

The workshop presented data collected during previously held engagements, and participants shared reflections on the progress made.

The ministry first announced its plans to develop a digital strategy in 2018 during that year’s ICT summit.

Mathe said the strategy is an acknowledgement of the critical juncture Namibia currently stands at to capitalise on the global wave of digitalisation.

“Namibia stands at a pivotal juncture in its journey towards digital transformation. Governance and strategic foresight in the digital realm are not just options, but imperatives for our development.

“By crafting a focused vision for our digital future, we are laying the groundwork to leverage digitalisation for prosperity,” said Mathe.

The ministry collaborated with Impact Tank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Accelerator Lab, with financial support from the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) to launch the digital strategy initiative.

Mathe said the development of the strategy is a collective effort that would maximise impact and foster comprehensive digital development across Namibia’s various sectors and geographical landscapes.

“The essence of our national digital strategy lies in its vision and mission, which articulates the dream for Namibia’s digital transformation. This strategy delves deep into understanding our transformation into a society that is not only digitally literate, but also innovative and inclusive,” he said.

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