Citizen Connect project launched

09 Dec 2013 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 09 DEC (NAMPA) – Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob on Monday launched the ‘Citizen Connect’ pilot project aimed at bridging the digital divide in the Namibian society.
The project was initiated by the Mydigitalbridge Foundation, a non-profitable Namibian organisation, and aspires to enrich the lives of marginalised communities through equitable access to technology.
The project is funded by the Millennium Challenge Account Namibia Compact, and will connect 24 schools and 10 circuit offices to broadband Internet using television ‘white spaces’.
White spaces refer to frequencies allocated to a broadcasting service but not used locally.
“By connecting a school, it is possible to connect a clinic and a police station and the village in general,” said Geingob during the launch which took place at his office in the capital.
He said the project cannot be executed successfully without the support of the partner and stakeholder community.
The premier encouraged all stakeholders from the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN), the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the Millennium Challenge Account Namibia, Telecom Namibia, as well as all other key parties to this project to ensure that all put their full weight behind this initiative in order to bridge the digital divide.
“No Namibian should feel left out. The times have changed. ICT is the key in today's world. The smartphone today is the equivalent of having a whole library of books some years ago,” he said.
Geingob urged stakeholders to guard against a situation where the majority of citizens feel left out due to an inability to access ICT.
“It is up to all of us to work collectively to achieve this goal,” he stated.
On his part, chairman of the Mydigitalbridge Foundation, Dr Hylton Villet said the project is aimed at benefiting people who have no access to Internet, and for now will focus on the three regions of Oshana, Omusati and Ohangwena.
The project will then be rolled out to other regions in the near future, he said.
The objective is to facilitate smooth communication between rural schools and education circuit offices.