The ICT Expo was officially opened in Windhoek today, unveiling an array of leading edge information and communication technologies (ICT) solutions, products and services.

The ICT Expo is an initiative of Telecom Namibia and Windhoek Show Society and is taking place alongside the annual Windhoek Industrial and Agricultural Show that started on 25 September.

The exhibition is taking place under the theme: "˜Visualising the future - confronting the crisis`.

Telecom board chairman, Joseph Iita, says the exhibition is proof of Telecom`s involvement and leadership role in the country`s information and communication technologies and telecoms sector.

"In order to reap the benefits of information and communication technologies, one key initiative of Telecom, through collaboration with other role players, to help raise public awareness and the mobilisation of all institutions for the effective use of the latest digital technologies," says Iita. The exhibition gives Telecom the platform to highlight its latest technologies.

Iita added that the ICT Expo is in line with Vision 2030, and the aim of the event is to help Namibia build a strong, strategic, integrated, and secure ICT sector.

Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Raphael Dinyando, on opening the exhibition yesterday said the exhibition represents the start of a collaborative effort by the information and communication sector to commemorate the annual African Union Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) week. The World Summit of Information Society launched the first ICT week in 2005 for November 14 to 20.

Dinyando said the week "provides an opportunity to reflect on the gains Africa has made in harnessing ICT to realise a knowledge-based economy and achieving the millennium development goals".

A number of Government initiatives are underway to assist and build capacity to create an enabling environment to develop, transfer and apply ICT within social and national economic transformation.

Besides the much-debated Communications Bill "“ which the public has dubbed "˜Spy Bill` "“ other initiatives include the enhancement of the broadband connectivity through the West Coast Cable System.

Dinyando says there is ample proof that a steady introduction of technological advances across the length and breadth of the country is a very sound investment as well as a social responsibility. In addition, a lot is achieved in the provision of fixed and mobile telephone services throughout the country.

"The biggest challenge facing the sector today is to find ways and means to further bridge the gaps and disparities in service provision in towns on the one hand, and the rest of the country on the other," said Dinyando.

Although the sector is rolling out broadband and Internet services to rural areas, Dinyando called for the sector to "give high priority to the improvement of ICT services to citizens".

"It is therefore imperative that we explore the potential ways of utilising digital technologies in empowering our people and communities to better perform their tasks and roles in our increasingly technologically driven information centred and knowledge-based economy," says Dinyando.



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