Namibia improves on ICT Development Index

15 Nov 2017 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 15 NOV (NAMPA) - Namibia’s global ranking on the ICT Development Index (IDI) has improved from 123rd last year to 118th this year, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
In terms of information and communication technology (ICT) access, the Index indicates that only 7,71 of Namibians have fixed-telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, while there are 109.19 subscriptions per 100 Namibians. This can be explained by the fact that some Namibians have more than one mobile phone number.
Only 20 per cent of Namibian households have computers and 29,53 per cent of households have access to Internet, but only 31,03 per cent of individuals use the Internet.
A paltry 2,19 per 100 inhabitants Namibians have fixed broadband subscriptions, while 66,15 per 100 people in the country have active mobile-broadband subscriptions.
The ITU, which is a specialised United Nations agency, said IDI is a unique benchmark of the level of ICT development in countries across the world, adding that the latest data on ICT development shows continued progress in connectivity and use of ICT.
It further posits that there has been sustained growth in the availability of communications in the past decade, led by growth in mobile cellular telephony and, more recently, in mobile-broadband.
The ITU said the number of mobile-broadband subscriptions worldwide now exceed 50 per 100 people, enabling improved access to the Internet and online services.
In spite of the rapid expansion of ICTs, there are substantial digital divides between countries and regions. However, there has been registered progress in ICT growth by least developed countries, in terms of connectivity as well as the use of the Internet.
The Index was released on Wednesday, the same day ICT Minister Tjekero Tweya launched the Internet Society Namibia Chapter, where he decried the lack of access to ICT services in Namibia’s rural areas.
He said there was need to ensure that the Internet becomes a transformative tool for social and economic development as embodied in Namibia’s national development plan, Vision 2030.
“As you might know by now, I have made it my personal goal to ensure that 100 per cent of Namibia is fully covered by Internet coverage,” he said.
Tweya, however, warned that the success of the Internet should not be measured in terms of sheer numbers of connected individuals but more in terms of accessibility and its contribution to social progress.