ICT Contributes 5.5 Percent to GDP

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector contributed 5.5 percent to the GPD during 2013 and 2.9 percent during 2012, the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) said in its 20122013 annual report.

Although CRAN had achieved a number of things over the past three years, they still face a number of challenges such as setting up adequate infrastructure to allow for greater reach in terms of internet access and broadband capacity. Another challenge is to strengthen, harmonise and integrate policy and regulatory frameworks in the African region, particularly when it comes to home and away roaming in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

CRAN launched its second national consumer campaign titled ‘The Consumer is King’ and celebrated World Telecommunications Day at a colourful event held at a local hotel last week. It also celebrated its third anniversary on the same occassion. “Crucial effort was made by CRAN to establish a firm regulatory framework forthe Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) switchover process. The migration from analogue to DTT required the development of a frequency channeling plan, which CRAN formulated. Various SADC regulators are also using CRAN’s DTT regulation as a benchmark,” said CRAN Chief Operating Officer Jochen Traut.

CRAN’s 20122013 Annual Report, based on the theme ‘The ICT Regulatory Blueprint for the Future’ further outlines the successes and challenges that the regulator faced. “CRAN is building an ICT industry in Namibia that will bring the socio-economic benefits of ICT to all Namibians,” the regulator says. The design of CRAN’s 20122013 Annual Report is purposefully conceptual, with the board members and management shown interacting with innovative ideas of ICT interfaces. “To encourage local investment, competition and new market entries, a progressive regulatory levy formula was adopted that bases service licence levy charges on a percentage of a licensee’s turnover that does not discriminate unfairly between smaller entities and dominant operators. This effectively means the lower the turnover, the lower the fee payable, which has been capped at a maximum of 1.5 percent of turnover,” said Lazarus Jacobs, chairperson of the CRAN board of directors. The Minister of ICT, Joel Kaapanda, emphasised the importance of broadband connectivity in Namibia and globally during the occasion. “The Ministry of ICT is working on a Namibian Broadband Policy, but I urge CRAN and all ICT stakeholders to proactively work towards the realisation of affordable and high quality broadband services to all corners and cities in Namibia.”

Source : New Era