07 Oct 2014 14:50pm
WINDHOEK, 07 OCT (NAMPA) The 13th Participatory Design Conference (PDC) 2014 commenced in the capital on Sunday.
The bi-annual international conference is attended by 200 participants from 30 countries around the world.
It is being hosted by the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN), together with the University of Namibia (Unam), under the theme Reflecting on Connectedness.
Officially opening the conference on Tuesday, Information and Communication Technology Minister Joel Kaapanda said in this modern electronically-enhanced era, it is necessary that nations ensure the connectedness of all citizens, within and across countries.
He added that connectedness is ensured through communication, which does not only mean digital, electronic or verbal messages, but also include the origin of the word communicate, which means to derive strength and sustenance together.
Kaapanda said Namibia, with the majority of its population living in rural areas, benefits from a 95 per cent nationwide mobile network coverage, and more than 100 per cent mobile phone penetration.
This is the first step in realising our vision of creating an inclusive information society through infrastructural development.
In this regard, Telecom Namibia has done a good job by creating a sound network of 12 000 kilometres of fibre optic cable across the country, said the minister.
The design of information and communication technologies needs to take account of numerous factors, especially human requirements.
I, therefore, welcome the approach of participatory design, where end-users are involved at an early stage in the development of the technology they use and live with, said Kaapanda.
He stressed that Government is currently engaged in a long-term e-governance project aimed at providing improved public services to the citizens through the effective utilisation of ICTs.
The government is also looking at best-practices in other countries to learn and improve the technology design, involving academia, industry experts, policy- makers and citizens.
The conference ends on Friday.