ITU gives thumbs up to NamÔÇÖs ICT progress

International Telecommunications Union have commended the Namibian government for growing the Information Communication Technology and enhancing the sector in the past few years.
This was said by Chairperson of ITU Houlin Zhao during his visit to Namibia for the first time a gala dinner hosted for him by the Communication Regulatory Authority.
“Namibia today has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in Africa at about 120% which is well above the 69% average mobile penetration for the Sub Saharan African region and the second highest in the SADC region. Furthermore, Namibia is one of the few countries within SADC region and Africa at large with a fully Digital Transition Terrestrial (DTT) network covering over 60% of the populations and shall meet the deadline for the analogue to digital switchover in 2015,”he said.
Zhao called on all ICT stakeholders to subscribe and become members of the ITU and continue to be part of the global ICT transformation process.
 ICT Minister Joel Kaapanda also noted that ITU has been an active partner to Namibia’s ICT development through various projects and programs especially since  2008.
“Through the HIPPSA project, Namibia was assisted by the ITU to develop a cyber security legal framework addressing electronic communications, cybercrime and data protection. The draft bill is currently being studied for endorsement by cabinet.  
“I am encouraged by the focus that the international community including the ITU is placing on this critical area of electronic communications. I am encouraged by the focus that the international Community, including the ITU is placing on this critical area of electronic communications.  I am further reminded about the data security breaches and compromises in electronic communications security system that quite often occurs, making cyber security and data protection online a persistent challenge,” he said.
The minister also stressed that although Namibia has made good strides in ICT development, and skills deficit remain a challenge. Therefore the government objective is to strengthen ICT literacy in “Therefore the system of ITU centres of excellence around the world is strategic intervention that will greatly assist member countries to overcome its human resources challenges,” Kaapanda said.
CRAN Chairperson Lazarus Jacobs also corroborated the minister saying the country needs adequate infrastructure to allow for greater reach.
“Particularly when it comes to home and away roaming, open access to backbone infrastructure and undersea cables and converged licensing regimes to provide quad play services.
“The evolution of the use of data services, social media, electronic transactions and banking services facing increased cyber security risks will challenge CRAN to continuously keep abreast of new technologies and trends to fulfil its advisory role to the ministry and forward looking regulation of the industry,” Jacobs said.