By Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Traditional authorities are set to improve their communication through electronic devices. To this end, the Ministry of Regional, and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development has donated 32 computers to each traditional authority. The second-hand computers handed over to the Chairperson of the Council of Traditional Leaders, King Elifas Kauluma are valued at approximately N$52 500. At the hand-over ceremony, the Deputy Minister of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Kazenambo Kazenambo said the "e-office" concept is one way of improving the welfare and living conditions of rural communities. In line with the information technology era, the drive for local authorities to be on par makes its pertinent for government not to ignore the needs for closing the digital divide. "The ministry is therefore mindful of the need to improve access to information to our grassroots people," said Kazenambo who felt information is crucial for rural development. Through access to information technology, villagers and local entrepreneurs will be able to increase their economic activities in rural areas. Ultimately, this also means learners will have an improved edge to broaden their knowledge and improve their performance. Kazenambo said the latest donation is in line with the country's developmental goal of Vision 2030 in order to create E-Offices at all levels of traditional communities. It is imperative that traditional leaders who are closer to the people on the ground have the necessary technological equipment to run their operations effectively. The 32 computers will be delivered and installed by the ministry's technical team at 32 traditional authorities throughout the country. In addition, an amount of N$31 000 has already been transferred to regional councils in order to purchase 24 printers for the traditional authorities who have electricity supply. Welcoming this kind gesture, King Kauluma said the donation came at the right time especially when traditional authorities are in dire need of office equipment, transport and training amongst other things. Although the Traditional Authorities Act makes provision for the establishment of Community Trusts Funds, very few have made this effort a reality. "Even those who have established this fund are struggling to raise enough capital to support the daily activities," said King Kauluma. Thus, the office equipment invested in the traditional authorities will go a long way to address the mounting administrative problems facing most of them today. Currently, there are 42 recognised traditional authorities in the country. On its part, the ministry has allocated funds and undertaken to renovate or construct new office buildings for traditional authorities in the regions. Three offices are constructed every year, with the latest being in the Omaheke and Erongo regions. This brings to 20 the total number of offices so far constructed by the ministry.
2006-06-30 00:00:00 12 years ago