01 Mar 2018 17:00pm
WINDHOEK, 01 MAR (NAMPA) The Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), with financial assistance from the Embassy of Finland, launched the Inclusive and Collaborative Local Tech Innovation Hub here on Wednesday.
The hub will enhance information and communication technology (ICT) innovation skills for a minimum of 300 young people at selected rural and urban pilot sites.
Skills development will be in areas such as the design of products and services to be marketed in Namibia and abroad.
Officiating at the launch, NUST Vice Chancellor Tjama Tjivikua said digital technologies have great potential in bringing significant economic growth to Namibia.
If managed well, this growth can be inclusive by bringing equitable growth through unique opportunities even to those who are currently excluded or feel excluded, he said.
He noted that there is however a great risk that this development will bypass those who are currently marginalised due to the lack of education, employment and opportunities in general.
The hub was born out of the realisation that there are groups of marginalised people who are excluded from progressive developments.
If we want to ensure that marginalised communities benefit from digital technologies, they must be included in the very processes where new uses for such technologies are imagined and developed into marketable products and services, he stressed.
Tjivikua said the innovation hub should not be restricted to innovations targeting the bottom of the pyramid market, adding that innovation for all kinds of markets will benefit from the inclusion of the marginalised.
The hub consists of four main actors; all with complementary roles and concerns of the citizens. These are civic society, government, academia, and the digital technologies innovation industry.