Information and communication technology deputy minister Emma Theofelus says that Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) are key to the country’s economic growth and sustainable development.
She said this at the Hackathon and Telecom Namibia Innovation Week in Windhoek last week.
According to her, to respond to the challenges and opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which include big data and analytics, Namibia has to develop local high-performance computing capacity to enhance creative and innovative thinking capacity.
“Knowledge behaves like power but innovation is required to expand that power. The greater the innovation, the greater will be the potential of our country’s development,” she says.
Theofelus said that government was constantly encouraging innovation.
In August this year, the 4IR task force set up by President Hage Geingob reported that Namibia’s education needs to improve its levels of digital skills and integrate digital education into basic and higher education curricula.
Theofelus argued that Namibia is living in a period of rapid change driven by innovation and technology where companies that prioritise agility and adopt new technologies early are the ones that will not only gain a competitive advantage in their core operations but will also inevitably stay in business.
“Our ability to absorb and use relevant information will depend on how fast and how often we learn but more so, how much we unlearn concepts that have no place in the future of work and doing business,” she said.
“I believe that there is no greater mistake than believing that a person knows everything or that we are self-sufficient in all areas,” says Theofelus.
Theofelus argued that no person or entity is an island and it will also be fallacious on the part of a government to believe that everything has to be done by the government alone.
“I strongly insist upon collaboration and participatory governance. That will give us all a competitive advantage through collaborative efforts,” she said.
She emphasised that the government takes pride in the fact that it has young people working near telecommunication experts with the intent of providing solutions to the problems faced.