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Ministry to improve radio coverage in underserviced areas

Written by on April 10, 2024

Ministry of Information and Communication Technology spokesperson Shoki Kandjimi says the ministry will prioritise areas with a low radio coverage such as the Kunene region in the universal access service initiative.

This comes after minister Emma Theofelus announced plans to implement the initiative by deploying 15 radio access network sites on Monday.

“The ministry decided that as a government they have decided to set up towers in areas that are underserved so they can enjoy the benefits of network connections,” Kandjimi said.

However, he added that the ministry cannot at this point reveal where exactly towers will be placed, but said they will focus on areas that are underserviced.

The ministry is set to invest N$35 million in this initiative.

Additionally, Theofelus said N$19,3 million was allocated for the development of policy and legislation to support, modernise and improve information and communication technology (ICT) development.

“This programme is responsible for coordinating compliance with regional, continental and international ICT obligations. It further strives to bridge the digital divide through remote Rural Information Communication Technology Centres that are visible in all regions of our country,” Theofelus said.

Meanwhile, Theofelus announced plans are underway to establish the Cybersecurity Incident Response Team, which will serve as a focal point for coordinating responses to cyber incidents and be the primary contact point to liaise with national, regional and international bodies dealing with cybersecurity.

On the same platform, the ministry has allocated N$6 million to the Namibia Film Commission (NFC) Secretariat for the Namibia Film Development Fund.

According to Theofelus, this fund is for the promotion of Namibia as a preferred film destination internationally, while developing the local film industry.

“This coming year, the NFC will conduct comprehensive research and develop a detailed report outlining a strategic roadmap for establishing and growing a thriving film industry in Namibia,” Theofelus said.

The aim of this allocation of funds is to clarify and identify the projects, programmes and activations that Namibia can introduce to stimulate the contribution of film and television production to the delivery of Vision 2030.

Alongside the NFC, the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) will receive N$311,8 million for their operational budget and N$80 million towards their development budget.

Theofelus said this allocation is in line with the upcoming elections and is to provide NBC with resources to orchestrate a multifaceted coverage plan.

“This initiative aims beyond mere reporting and production, aspiring to encapsulate the diverse perspectives and dynamics across every region of the country,” she said.

Theofelus said expanding the corporation’s broadcast infrastructure network can create job opportunities, attract investments and foster innovation within the media industry.

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