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The Minister of Information and Communication Technology says undoubtedly that the digital divide makes it difficult for communities to achieve economic growth.

Local businesses, too, cannot meaningfully compete in the broader digital marketplace or through e-commerce.

Emma Theofelus remarked this at Ikumwe in the Zambezi Region during the groundbreaking ceremony for a new network tower set up at Ikumwe.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the telecommunications base transceiver station tower at the Ikumwe Village, about 50 kilometres outside of Katima Mulilo, will be installed by PowerCom, a sister company of Telecom Namibia. 

Theofelus says the digital divide undermines democratic engagement as those without access to or the skills to navigate digital platforms are limited, and this further sidelines them from policy discussions and decisions that may impact their lives.

"Therefore, the construction of this tower and two other towers in Nakabolelwa and Mutikila, as well as in other areas of the great Zambezi Region, will provide access to information and communication technology. In addition, you will now have improved connectivity, which should translate to enhanced economic growth and greater regional integration. Indeed, given Ikumwe's proximity to the border, we believe that the tower will be the catalyst for your development as an economic hub that will strengthen business links with our esteemed neighbours."

She hopes that the operationalisation of the tower will allow residents of Ikumwe to participate at the eighth Annual National ICT Summit, scheduled for September, either in person or virtually.

Theofelus assured the residents of the government's proactive support, saying that by following a strategic approach, everyone can eventually be brought on par.

PowerCom Chairperson, Eldorette Harmse, shared the company's excitement at the journey it undertook over the last two to three years.

"We are geared to play an integral role in helping industries achieve efficient green development through green ICT, which shall act as the foundation for a digital future built on technologies like 5G and artificial intelligence (AI). This will drive incredible innovations across industries, from smart cities to autonomous vehicles, enhance connectivity everywhere, and accelerate business and technology evolution."

PoweCom plans to construct four more towers at Mafuta, Gunkwe, Linyanti, and Lisikili for the 2025–2026 financial year.
 

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Photo Credits
NBC Digital News

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Author
Sililo Mubiana