Making Namibia a ‘world-preferred destination’ for ICT means working together
By Kehad Snydewel.
ICT Deputy Minister, Hon. Emma Theofelus, recently stated that Namibia will become a ‘world-preferred destination’ for the offshoring of ICT services. This of course immediately piqued our interest as one of Namibia’s largest ICT services providers.
The deputy minister continued to explain that they will achieve this status by reviewing, drafting, and accelerating the policies and legislation that govern ICT activities. It’s not surprising that this development is being pushed, we always knew that ICT was important to the Namibian economy. With the development of our economy, it has also become a necessity.
As a nation, we seem to be on the cusp of an economic revolution, the prospects for oil and the development of Green Hydrogen activities have made us feel like real change is coming. With the prospect of oil and green hydrogen comes the responsibility as a nation to harness it, use it for the benefit of our own people, and leverage external expertise for our nation’s gain.
Building the economy, not just the oil and gas sector will require real computing power as well as broad ICT expertise. With the Ministry of ICT positioning itself and the nation through legislation, we can ensure that we do indeed become a ‘world preferred destination,’ when it comes to all things ICT.
Namibia has realised the vital role technology plays in alleviating some of the teething development challenges weighing down its prospects for growth. Stakeholders and the Namibian Government are keenly aware of the crucial role the ICT sector has in speeding up development in Namibia. A total rethink of the public and private sectors consistently collaborating will improve productivity, and service delivery and unlock huge potential for new businesses.
This means that young people, entrepreneurs, and existing businesses willing to ‘think outside the box’ and willing to embrace, invest and develop IT-based solutions have a bright future.
We have seen that technology drives innovation and can catapult countries to the forefront economically, empowering people. We must be ready and willing as Namibian companies to work together with Government and external parties. We must be the obvious choice to work with, creating local partnerships to pool knowledge and expertise.
Sector-specific ICT knowledge will be essential as will embracing Artificial Intelligence and all other innovations. Why have foreign ICT companies come in and do the work when we have our own experts and professionals? All of whom have the same certifications and qualifications as consultants from abroad.
This is certainly a challenge for us as a nation, however, we can succeed, provided we have the right environment and legislative framework in place. Just as the deputy minister stated, making Namibia a force to be reckoned with.
Being able to see and act upon potential opportunities for change through innovation is the only path to success. It can only survive if Namibia can successfully compete and flourish in the face of the range of emerging adverse and fluctuating business and economic conditions. We need to offer world-beating service, our cyber-security needs to compete with the best in the world. Our people need to compete at the highest levels as ICT experts. Having a Ministry that sees this as its goal, means we as the business sector must help them reach that goal.
We can establish an environment where everything is set up to stimulate an innovative economy from a grassroots level and be the catalyst for an innovative economic sector in Namibia. Awaiting the possible energy boom that will help build Namibia’s economy and make us a world-preferred destination for world-class ICT services.