Community broadcasters urged to take advantage of ICT

20 Sep 2013 05:00
WINDHOEK, 20 SEP (NAMPA) – The Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on Thursday urged community broadcasters to take full advantage of Namibia’s improved ICT infrastructure in order to expand their existing services.
Stanley Simataa made this call when he addressed representatives of community broadcasters at the first Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Namibia Community Broadcasters’ Network (NCBN) Trust, which took place in the capital.
The AGM saw the election of Marco Ndlovu from Base FM as the chairperson of the NCBN Trust’s Directorate, to be assisted by Peingondjabi Sheya (Ohangwena Community Radio); Johannes Orr (//Kharas Community Radio); Lot Ndamanomhata (Unam Radio) and Julius Mtemahanji (Poly Echoes).
The AGM also included presentations from various community media partners such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) cluster office, the Namibian chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), DW Academie and the Media ombudsman.
“I must acknowledge that in spite of the modest progress made, Namibia is still faced with a host of ICT challenges,” Simataa indicated.
Here, he mentioned the lack of ICT penetration in rural areas given the vast geographical distances, and a perpetual lack of electricity, which hinders Information and Communication Technology adoption and which, by extension, perpetuates the existing digital divide between urban and rural areas.
“That notwithstanding, we will continue with the ICT roll-out path we have established, and constantly engage ICT stakeholders on how best these and many other challenges not stated can be addressed,” he said.
He then appealed to the NCBN Trust to join the ICT Stakeholders’ forum established to solicit industry inputs on ICT-related matters in Namibia.
“Take the maximum advantage of the improved ICT infrastructure to expand the existing bouquet of the services they provide,” he reiterated.