14 November 2012

Namibia: Parliamentary Committee Visits New Era

Windhoek — Four MPs and two staff members from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on Monday visited New Era on a fact-finding mission.

Chairperson of the committee, Dr Moses Amweelo said due to the worldwide increase of ICT applications, Namibia needs to embark on a paradigm shift, as well as to consider transforming not only vital sectors of the economy but also all sectors to utilise multiple e-based platforms.

"In today's world, ICTs are applicable to all branches of the economy, from agriculture and health to education. Therefore, emphasis must be placed at ground level, from learners in primary school, right through to tertiary education, and make sure that they utilise ICTs from a young age. Nowadays there is e-learning, e-books, and we are moving toward an e-society which reduces costs drastically," explained Amweelo.

The mandate of the six-member committee is to "deal with matters pertaining to information and communication technology and its application in various fields." The committee was established in 2010. The visit to New Era served to educate the parliamentarians on the level of in-service ICT training for staff members, the standard of equipment, as well as to see if there are challenges that New Era experiences in implementing the ICT law and policies.

Amweelo highlighted that "paperless technology" is the way forward that would, in the near future, remove the need for voluminous stacks of paper, physical visits to libraries or for hard copy assignments.

"With an e-based platform, you can save money by not necessarily going to the library for books. You can easily get an e-book and commence with e-learning. There is a lot of information on the Internet. This saves costs. One can easily complete and forward an assignment by using e-mail, which is less costly than travelling up and down to school," the MP said during the visit.

New Era is currently one of the very few newspapers that make use of state-of-the-art marketing software (Mmix), while the newspaper's content is accessible on the Facebook and Twitter social media pages where they have provided the public with a platform to debate and discuss current affairs.

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