New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Otjinene Settlement Joins Information Superhighway

Otjinene — The first ever MTC Netman Information and Communication Technology (ICT) container landed in the rural town of Otjinene last week Wednesday, bringing Internet service access and other forms of ICT closer to the people in the area.

The container boasts full Internet services connection and allows for customers to make pre-payments, purchase airtime and other products whereas fax and photocopy facilities are also available. Otjinene is situated 160 km east of the town of Gobabis.

"The MTC ICT container project is certainly commendable, even if we have to say it ourselves, because it promotes ICT in rural areas and it allows rural communities to enhance and take full advantage of ICT services normally only found in urban areas," said Tim Ekandjo, MTC spokesperson.

Ongendo Development Trust, a local development trust, will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the container, while MTC will assist the operator with N$2 000 a month for managing it. The container is valued at N$125 000.

Chairperson of the Ongendo Development Trust Mbamunondjamo Kaahangoro commended MTC for making the trust the operator of the Otjinene Netman Centre, which he added has now opened its doors to residents to acquaint themselves with ICTs.

"MTC will be rolling out more ICT containers in the next months, with the target being six ICT containers [by the end of this year] and seven containers next year. Our next areas are Tsumkwe, Khorixas, Tses, Omatjete and Oniipa, allowing us to cover different regions in a short space of time," said Ekandjo.

"Our selection criteria is quite simple, we are looking to target the youth in an effort to fight youth unemployment - therefore, we are looking for young dynamic entrepreneurs, or anybody from existing community development groups who are already engaged in income generating projects," he said.

Said Omaheke Regional Governor, Laura McLeod Katjirua: "Our country has made tremendous progress in ICT access from MTC's contribution - I can highlight that we have one of the highest penetration rates in Africa, which means the percentage of active subscribers to the total population is on par with South Africa, Botswana, Mauritius and Seychelles in the sub-region. MTC has brought us 4G, being the second country on the continent to launch this truly remarkable technology."

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