Namibia (Republic of)

H.E. Mr Simon MARUTA
Ambassador to Vienna, Austria
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

22 October 2014

Mr Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to address the ITU Plenipontentiary 2014. Allow me also to first thank the Republic of Korea for the hospitality you have bestowed us with since our arrival here in Busan. We also congratulate you Mr Chairman, on your election to lead and guide our discussions. 

Over the past years, Namibia has been effectively engaged in the establishment of a policy and legal framework for the development of ICT in Namibia, which culminated in Namibia now having an overarching National Policy on ICT and a fully-fledged autonomous regulator, CRAN.  

Namibia is cognizant of the fact that the development of the ICT sector internationally is central to the creation of new opportunities for promoting sustainable development; alleviating poverty; achieving universal service and access, facilitating wealth creation, enhancing economic growth and development as well as deepening democratic practices and good governance.

It is therefore, imperative that Namibia expands its participation in the international sphere through the dynamic support of the ITU Strategic Goals and Targets under the banner of Connect 2020.

ICT infrastructure development is a National priority for the Namibian Government and we have invested in broadband infrastructure through WACS, SAT-3 and SEACOM. This has broadened bandwidth capacity and improved connectivity between Namibia and the rest of the world.

The investments aforesaid resulted in a 100% digital national backbone network forming the bedrock upon which 4G/LTE mobile services were rolled out in 2012.
In the broadcasting sector, the migration from analogue television services to digital television services is progressing well and we have recorded 61% population coverage thus far. We are therefore, confident that Namibia will meet the June 2015 deadline as set by the ITU.

The Namibian Government has also prioritized universal access and service with respect to a wide range of electronic communications networks and services. To this end, the closing of the digital divide between the rural and urban areas will be accelerated.

Namibia recognizes with appreciation the ITU’s assistance to the development of ICT in our country. In 2009, the ITU assisted us to develop our regulatory framework, which is the bedrock of our current ICT operations.

During Mr. Houlin Zhao’s recent visit to Namibia in July 2014, ITU also offered to assist Namibia in the development of a digitization policy, and capacity building in cyber-crime and cyber-security, in order to support our government’s efforts. This assistance is timely and most appreciated.

The new frontier in ICT service delivery is undoubtedly mobile-data services. Mobile telephony penetration in Namibia has surpassed 120% with about 40% of users accessing the Internet from various platforms in Namibia.

We are also involved in a TV White Space study through our regulator in order to assess not only the sustainability and affordability of the utilization of White Spaces in other bands but also the new technologies that will emanate from this use.

Mr. Chairman, we would also like to take this opportunity to recognize the work of our international partners that have been instrumental in providing us with the necessary assistance to establish various ICT driven initiatives in e-health, e-education and e-government.

Allow us please Mr. Chairman to acknowledge the work of the Secretary General, Dr. Hamadoun Touré and to salute him for his leadership of the ITU over the years. We thank you for your devotion not only to the ITU but to the plight of women and the youth in ICT. Africa is certainly proud of your achievements.

Lastly Mr Chairman, Namibia is committed to the ITU’s strategic goals of growth, inclusiveness, sustainability, innovation and partnership and we will continue to contribute to the international agenda, and ensure that these goals are reached.

I thank you Mr Chairman