Roland Routh Windhoek-Though Namibia missed the June 15, 2016 deadline to establish its Internet Governance Forum, it is now a reality, said the Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Tjekero Tweya, during his keynote address at the inaugural Namibia Internet Governance Forum. According to Tweya, the internet has become an increasingly important platform for not only communication, whether locally or globally, personally or professionally, but also in terms of its role as a platform for meaningful political, social and economic engagement. “It is because the internet has come to play such an increasingly pervasive role in almost everything we, as individuals, organisations and even governments, do these days that the issue of how, why and by whom the internet is governed has also become an increasingly salient consideration for policymakers, economic stakeholders and civil society actors alike. For we all, across our various sectors and despite our seeming divergent interests and perspectives, have a stake in the internet,” he said. He went on to say this inherently means and makes the internet a multi-stakeholder platform, which is the principle that underpins, or should underpin, internet governance processes, not just globally, but at regional and national levels as well. According to Tweya, Namibia adopted a multi-stakeholders approach, which is a legitimate, transparent and open process to all participants and consciously includes a diversity of stakeholders from industry, civil society, governments, technical experts and academic communities. He further said the Namibian government has initiated the rollout of e-government platforms across strategic state sectors and departments. “The Namibian government, under the auspices of the Ministry of ICT (Information and Communicaiton Technology), has also initiated the review of ICT-related laws and policies with the aim of installing appropriate frameworks towards achieving our national goals in respect of the digital realm. On top of that, the Namibian government has and continues to invest heavily in ICT infrastructure, nationally, regionally and locally,” the minister stressed. Additionally, Tweya said despite the economic and fiscal hardships Namibia is currently experiencing, government is busy putting computers in schools and in youth and community centres around the country to enable the state to facilitate ordinary Namibians to shape their own future. Tweya also said access to information, in the context of transparent and accountable governance and government, is something the government has embraced and has even articulated in its Harambee Prosperity Plan. “Let it be clear that the Namibian government is committed to ensuring access to information, and to that effect will be finalising the Access to Information Draft Bill towards putting it on the parliamentary agenda as soon as possible,” the minister enthused.
2017-09-29 09:35:42 11 months ago