Namibia Economist (Windhoek)

16 November 2012

Namibia: Netman in Otjinene

In an effort to take ICT development to rural areas, MTC last week commissioned its first Netman Centre in the remote settlement of Otjinene in the Omaheke region with its first beneficiary being the Ongendo Development Trust.

The Netman Centre is an ICT Container with full internet services to allow customers to make pre payment on their accounts. It also offers fax and photocopy services and it allows the community to buy MTC airtime and cellphones.

"The cost of one ICT container amounts to N$125,000 but according to us this is a good investment in the best interest of rural ICT development," said Tim Ekandjo, Chief Human Capital & Corporate Affairs Officer at MTC.

According to Ekandjo, the MTC container project promotes ICT in rural areas and it allows rural communities to embrace and take full advantage of ICT services normally found in urban areas.

He said in order to ensure that the operator manages the container on a sustainable basis, MTC offered the operator discounts on cellphones and airtime and in addition, assists the operator with N$2000 per month to manage the container effectively and in the best interest of the community.

"MTC will be rolling out more ICT containers in the next months, with the target being 6 ICT containers in the first year and 7 in the following year. Our next areas of departure are Tsumkwe, Khorixas, Tses, Omatjete and Oniipa allowing us to cover different regions in a short space of time," he said.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Laura Mcleod-Katjirua, Governor of the Omaheke Region said a partnership like the one between MTC and the Ongendo Trust is a powerful win win tool that is not common anywhere and a way for communities to benefit from ICT at low cost.

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