Article Summary: “Namibia at 20”
There has been great activity in light of Namibia’s 20th year of independence from South Africa. Last month, the nation officially celebrated the event with government gatherings, exhibitions, lectures, and television programs. Many individuals, including the Founding President, the editor of The Namibian, the Deputy Minister of ICT, and various citizens have all publicly expressed thoughts on Namibia’s priorities for the next couple of decades. The general consensus is that despite social inequality, Namibia is poised for further economic and knowledge-based success in the coming years.
Below are important points of a recent opinion article appearing in a Namibian newspaper that relate to ICT. (Shipale, Paul. “Namibia at 20, how do we fare?”, New Era, 23 April 2010. http://www.newera.com.na/article.php?articleid=10635)
- The youth have been called to “ensure the implementation of Vision 2030”. This ICT plan is very long-term, but Namibia is wise to know that sustained and lasting progress takes time.
- Heartfelt leadership with inspired vision will make a difference.
- Since 1990 Namibia has experienced general stability. The author uses “reasonable” and “fairly” to describe all elements of culture, including: peace and political stability, macroeconomic stability, reasonable governing, a fairly clear long-term vision for development, fairly developed ICTs infrastructure, and a fairly developed transport and communications system.
- There exists potential for growth in export of minerals and oil which will drive part of the economy.
- High unemployment and population shift from rural to urban area poses various challenges.
- Lack of appropriate knowledge and technology has been identified as key impediments to moving to higher value-added productivity.
- The government invited the World Bank to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the adequacy of the education and training system to support the attainment of national development goals.
It may take landmark events to re-evaluate internal progress, but every nation should take these measures annually.