Challenges to keep pace with global competitiveness
THE Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Stanley Simataa, is of the opinion that digital transformation can be a solution to Namibia’s growing number of unemployed youths.
Speaking at the ICT summit which opened earlier this week, Simataa stated that the digital world offers new employment opportunities and thus government should maximize 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.
“The first challenge is to keep pace with increased global competitiveness – the fourth industrial revolution will make various economic activities, particularly in the manufacturing sector, much more competitive on a global scale. The question is, will Namibia continue to make the requisite investments in order not to lag behind?” Simataa stated.
He added that the biggest challenge for Namibia and also for the rest of Africa is the issue of accessibility and connectivity.
“We need to make substantial investments in infrastructure and new technologies to yield significant developments and encourage the adoption of the latest applications. We should also address our nemesis of skewed availability of electricity,” Simataa urged.
He further stated that concerted efforts should therefore be made to address these risks so as to instill confidence in the security of our networks and reliability of our 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 Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he said, adding: “We have the ability to leapfrog some of the developed nations. It is for this reason that the Ministry will soon set in motion the process of developing a National Digital Strategy (NDS). This will be pursued in partnership with you as stakeholders. The NDS will provide a comprehensive road map that will guide the country’s digitization agenda.”