Current ICT Initiatives and Projects - Republic of Namibia

ICT Initiatives are currently ongoing at national level in the areas of eEducation (TECH/NA! ICT in Education Initiative, XNet, eLearning Centre (eLC), ICT Centre of Excellence, Namibia-South Africa Joint Calls for Research), eHealth (Integrated Health Care Information Management System) and eGovernment (eInfrastructure, Electronic Voting System, Human Capital Management System, National Population Registration System, Integrated Financial Management System, Integrated Tax Administration systems, Capacity Building, Government Portal, Electronic Documents and Record Management System), Multi-Sectoral community centres, the 081Every1 project, National ICT Summit, Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT).

TECH /NA!, Namibia's ICT in Education Initiative

TECHN/NA!, Namibia's ICT in Education Initiative was a comprehensive implementation strategy for the integration of ICTs across the entire education sector blending local expertise and international support to ensure that all educational institutions are able to efficiently utilize ICTs to meet their overall educational objectives in order to equip, educate and empower administrators, staff, teachers, and learners in ICT literacy and ICT integration skills to help bridge the digital divide with communities and meet the goals of Vision 2030 to fulfils Namibia ambition to become a knowledge- based society by 2030. It was a sub-programme under ETSIP.

Activities included training of teachers, ICT Literacy and Computer Studies workshops in all 13 regions in the country, and the procurement of ICT equipment for schools, libraries and Teachers' Resource Centres in various regions of the country.

Funding sources : This programme was funded by the Namibian government, with local and international support including funding from EDF10.

Geographic coverage : National

Xnet (National Education and Research Network)

Xnet was initially established in 2003 with a focus on connecting schools. Schools were initially connected with 56k dial-up modems and now 500 schools across Namibia are connected with 1MB lines. In 2007 Xnet extended its services to provide connectivity to all educational institutions. Currently it manages 1GB to provide connectivity to 500 schools, libraries and three universities. While Xnet is a member of UbuntuNet Alliance it has not been able to avail of benefits under the AfricaConnect project due to challenges securing the matching funding required at national level.

eHealth System

The eHealth System, also known as the Integrated Health Care Information Management System (IHCIMS) was launched in 2011 and the system was designed to cater for the day-to-day operational activities and services rendered by hospitals to patients. Medical information of patients will be stored on the Integrated Health Care Information Management System in digital format. Each patient will be given a unique number, which can be used across all 34 government hospitals in Namibia. The system is implemented at Windhoek Central, Katutura and Oshakati hospital. It is necessary to put network infrastructure into some other hospital locations prior to deploying the system.

Funding sources : This programme is funded by the Namibian government, with local and international support

ICT Centre of Excellence

An Information Communications Technology (ICT) Centre of Excellence was established at the University of Namibia in 2011 by Telecom Namibia. The objective of the centre is to promote a culture of excellence in research in telecommunications and information technology, and to create an opportunity for graduates to conduct research in a world class environment. Telecom Namibia provided information technology specialists to form part of the team that will mould students at the facility. The centre is expected to boost ICT research and development in the country and to narrow the gap between academia and industry in Namibia's Telecommunications, Information and Technology sector. Telecom provided 10 computers, a server, Cisco switches and routers and office equipment. It will also provide at least four research scholarships to promising Namibian masters and doctoral telecommunications and IT students. Telecom also invited MTC and power utilities Nampower and Nampost, to come on board.

Funding sources : This programme is funded by Telecom Namibia and University of Namibia

eGovernance Projects

The Namibian government is implementing a number of projects under its e-governance programme. These projects are implemented through the office of the Prime Minister and their coverage spread across the entire public service and are funded by the Namibian government with local and international support. Recently the government launched its eGovernment Strategic Action Plan. The E-Government Strategic Action Plan outlines the tools that need to be promoted by government to make it more accessible and accountable to citizens.

The project was initiated during February 2010 and the first phase of the project assessed the readiness of the Government of Namibia to embark on the e-Governance journey. The survey analysis resulted in the drafting of the Strategic Action Plan, which comprises of programmes and projects at high level. It also outlined the required budget for implementation. The strategic areas that have been identified include the following:

- Impact and Visibility - this will include all those activities that will directly the lives of citizens and increase effective visibility of the government services.

- Collaboration and Networking - this will include all activities that will ensure that e-Government in the country is a truly national effort requiring collaboration and sharing among the different OMAs.

- Consistency and Standardization - this will include all activities that will ensure that e-Government efforts across OMAs are consistent in their approach.

- Training, Education and Research - this will include all activities required to ensure that adequate capacities are created and enhanced among all stakeholders.

- Foundation Support - this will consist of all activities that are required to ensure that all necessary support structures are put in place for the e-Government effort to be successfully run in the country.

Fifteen programmes were outlined in the eGSAP. Ten eGovernment services were identified to be piloted during 2014 - 2018 including an iRecruitment and Employee Self-service process; Processing of permits and civic services; Business registration; Intergrated Tax Administration System; Deeds Registration Process; Issuing of Permits related to Water effluents, plan and animal import and export and forestry produce; Hunting Permits; Mining Licenses Applications and Renewals; Namibia Students Financial Assistant Fund and eHealth System.

Namibia-South Africa Cooperation - Joint Calls for Research

Within the remit of the bilateral STI Cooperation agreement between Namibia and South Africa, the two countries publish joint calls for research on various thematic areas including ICT. Joint research proposals are submitted to relevant authorities in both countries for review and successful projects are co-funded by both countries. As a result of a joint call, 8 out of 30 projects were funded for the year 2013/14 were in the field of ICT.

Scan-ICT Programe

Namibia is at an advanced stage of implementing the Scan-ICT programme. This is aimed at identifying ICT indicators and build capacity to measure Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D). The programme is implemented with a view of harnessing ICTs for development in order to measure the impact of ICTs on various sectors of the economy and citizens. The central scan-ICT portal /database will support policy development and implementation process, with ICTs forming an integral part of the country's vision.

081Every1 project

This project aims to ensure that every Namibian has access to quality networks, mobile connectivity, broadband accessibility and access to information by 2020. MTC intends rolling out services in new areas and improving the current MTC network by installing new towers. Regions are grouped into four clusters. Aervices will be rolled out in phases over 3 years. The 081 everyone project kicked off in March 2018 with the comminising of a new network site at Onanke village in Oshikoto region.

Multi-Sectoral Community Centers

Multi-Sectoral Community Centers have been re-named to Rural ICT Centers (RICTCs). They support in bridging the ICT (network coverage) gap between the urban and rural communities, enhance e-government roll-out, ensure ICT equipment and accessories access and usage by remote rural communities.

The Centres provide ICT services such as the provision of Internet access & usage (e.g. windows media center services like photoshop, microsoft office, database access in education, health and agriculture, etc.), basic graphic design services, sound and video editing services, multi-media coverage services, Public Address (PA) System sound services to the rural poor affordably, digital printing, photocopy, lamination and passport photo services and photography.

National ICT Summit

The Ministry of ICT organised the first national ICT Summit in Namibia in 2013. This annual event aims to facilitate the private sector (telecommunications industry, corporates and SMEs) and government to share information about latest ICT trends, examples of how ICT can contribute to socio-economic development and showcase applications and solutions to support good governance and eServices. The fifth ICT Summit took place in Windhoek in October 2018.

Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT)

Namibia is preparing an Electronic Transactions and Cybercrime Bill. In this context the Ministry of ICT started to establish a Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT) in 2017 as a coordinating body to deal with cyber security incidents at national level. The National CIRT Steering Committee developed the CIRT Concept Note outlining the modalities to be established. This preparatory work is ongoing.