WINDHOEK – At the opening of yesterday’s fifth annual Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Summit, the minister responsible for the sector proposed the establishment of policies and financial support for young people involved in ICT to showcase their innovative and business abilities. The three-day summit takes place under the theme; “Digital transformation for an ICT smart Namibia”.
“Digital transformation can boost youth employment. Like many other countries, Namibia is confronted by a bulging sea of unemployed youths. The digital world offers new employment opportunities. What needs to be done is to maximise the emergence of new job opportunities by establishing a policy and financial support regime that will inspire young people to fully exploit their entrepreneurial and innovative potential,” said ICT Minister, Stanley Simataa when he officially opened the summit.
“This platform is an ideal conduit for ICT stakeholders to converge and scan the ICT landscape nationally, within the sub-region, continentally and globally. It is through occasions like this that we can collectively consolidate the pivotal role ICT plays in shaping and nourishing the developmental trajectory of our nation,” Simataa added.
The minister emphasised that some researchers and trend analysts have opined that nations are experiencing the onset of the 4th industrial revolution, which he described as a revolution that will fundamentally change the way in which we live, work, and deliver services, even the way we relate to one another.
He warned that for Namibia to avoid remaining on the periphery of this revolution, the nation must contemplate a host of policy and regulatory interventions that will place it in better stead to harness the benefits of this imminent and unavoidable development.
“We can achieve this by accelerating digitisation and improve internet connectivity. These are perfect launch pads for the 4th Industrial Revolution! We must fully exploit the benefits offered by cloud computing given its inherent affordability and flexibility. We must embrace big data analysis, a development that calls for improved public and private sector partnerships,” said Simataa.
However, with increased digitisation comes increased cyber-security risks and Simataa suggested that concerted efforts should be made to address these risks so as to instil confidence in network security and reliability of the ICT ecosystem.
“We need to address perpetual human capacity challenges we are faced with. We have a dearth of relevant Information Technology skills. Unless addressed, this will be a huge drag on our ability to navigate the imminent onset of the 4th Industrial Revolution. Our ability to adapt and drive digital transformation across all segments of society, will determine the extent to which Namibia will join the league of prosperous nations - one where there will be equity of opportunities,” Simataa stated.