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Theofelus proposes budget to advance information and communication technology

Theofelus proposes budget to advance information and communication technology

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), Emma Theofelus on Monday, addressed the National Assembly to present and advocate for Vote 29 of the Ministry for the 2024/2025 financial year.

The proposed budget aims to lay the groundwork for accelerated Information Communication Technology (ICT) usage and development in Namibia while streamlining information management within the government.

In her address, Theofelus reflected on the Ministry’s achievements, highlighting the expansion of telecommunication networks, with significant upgrades from 2G to 3G and 3G to 4G across the country, resulting in 85% population coverage by broadband.

She underscored the need for government intervention to subsidize ICT infrastructure construction in underserved areas to achieve 100% network coverage.

Regarding broadcasting, the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) aims to achieve 100% coverage through the implementation of Satellite Direct-to-Home (DTH) technology, providing viewers and listeners with improved signal quality and a wider range of channels. Additionally, the NBC introduced its Over The Top (OTT) Streaming platform called nbcPlus, which currently boasts 28,900 users.

For the 2024/2025 financial year, the Ministry has allocated a budget of N$702,993,000 to promote access to information, develop responsive ICT laws, policies, and strategies, promote ICT infrastructure development, and maintain operational efficiencies.

Key programs include:

Programme 1: Information and Communication Technology Development: Focuses on policy and legislation development, bridging the digital divide, and establishing a Cybersecurity Incident Response Team.

Programme 2: Print Media Affairs: Aims to coordinate government communication, implement the Access to Information Act, and promote patriotism and national pride.

Programme 3: Audio-Visual Media and Regional Offices: Targets the promotion of Namibia as a preferred film destination, expanding broadcasting infrastructure, and strengthening the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).

Programme 4: Coordination and Support: Provides corporate services support, manages financial resources, and oversees the construction of regional offices.

Theofelus concluded by urging the House to consider and endorse Vote 29, emphasizing its role as a catalyst for universal access to information and accelerated ICT development for socio-economic growth in Namibia.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.