Unemployment affecting Namibia for far too long: Theofelus

Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Emma Theofelus has acknowledged how unemployment is a pressing issue that has been affecting the country for far too long.

Theofelus said this here on Tuesday during the opening ceremony of a one-day workshop on digital transformation hosted in conjunction with the Republic of Estonia.

“Unemployment is a pressing issue that has been affecting Namibia for too long. I am confident that digital transformation can be the key to unlocking opportunities for Namibians to create their own jobs and businesses,” said Theofelus.

The deputy minister added there is a need to develop alternative avenues to finance digital start-ups and support ICT – as the ministry recognised one of the biggest challenges facing digital start-ups and ICT entrepreneurship is access to finance.

In the same vein, Theofelus said Namibia is preparing itself to be the world-preferred destination for the offshoring of ICT services.

Namibia is currently drafting and reviewing the Cybercrime Bill, Data Protection Bill and amendment of the Communications Act. It is also looking at ICT policies and consolidation into a national ICT policy as well as the National Digital Strategy Concept Note to accelerate ICT development, access and innovation.

Speaking at the same event, Estonia’s Undersecretary of Economic and Development Affairs Mariin Ratnik said having digitalisation throughout all policies and policy making would support the development of both countries.

“I am very keen to listen to today’s debate, being part of it but also to develop the bilateral relations that we have ongoing between Namibia and Estonia for a couple of years. We have exchanged several high level visits and it has been deepening step by step throughout these years. We are here to have more relations between the governments, companies and seek further opportunities. We can contribute on a wider scale not only as Estonia but as a strong member of the European Union,” Ratnik said.

The purpose of the workshop is to share knowledge and practices on e-governance with the Namibian digital ecosystem that are involved in the digital transformation process. The workshop will further focus on effective e-government ecosystems and the development of citizen services on top of the key pillars such as building citizen-oriented services.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency