Namibian ICT Minister Joel Kapaanda

With the WACS cable having landed and a robust national broadband backbone being laid out, Namibia stands poised to take advantage of ICTs for a better future.

However, care needs to be taken to include underserved and rural areas.

This emerged at the 5th annual Telecom Namibia ICT Summit in Windhoek this week.

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Joel Kapaanda, called on key telecoms players at the Summit not to allow rural areas to lag behind urban areas in connectivity.

He said he was confident that the Universal Service Fund would help address a lack of investment in these areas.

“ICT is our bridge to a better and brighter future. Development and stagnation, wealth and poverty are now defined by new criteria, which depend on the use of modern technology in production and services,” Kapaanda said.

He said progress was being made in detting up a fully-fledged Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) and to implement a proper ICT infrastructure for government.

Telecom Namibia MD Frans Ndoroma noted that the West Africa Cable System (WACS) had made landfall in Namibia and that Telcom Namibia had rolled out 8000km of optic fibre cables to major towns and into neighbouring countries, positioning the country to cut telecommunications costs and bridge the digital divide.

 “Now that we will have substantial international bandwidth available in the country, the ICT industry needs to get its act together to deliver world-class services,” he said.

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