Namibia launches national assessment on internet universality indicators to bridge digital divide

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WINDHOEK, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Namibia launched its national assessment of Internet Universality Indicators on Tuesday to evaluate the country's internet environment and policies, thereby helping to bridge the digital divide where 49 percent of the population lacks internet access.

Speaking at the launch, Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology Emma Theofelus said the assessment aims to evaluate the country's internet environment and policies against the UNESCO ROAM-X (Rights, Openness, Accessibility, Multistakeholder) framework.

"The ROAM-X assessment, when completed later this year, promises to produce a concrete analysis of the Internet Universality concept at the country level. The purpose of this framework of Internet Universality Indicators is to assist interested governments and other stakeholders who voluntarily undertake this assessment of their national internet environments, providing them with direction for evidence-based policy formulation," she said.

The national assessment consists of 303 indicators and will provide a comprehensive understanding of Namibia's internet ecosystem, policies, and their alignment with UNESCO's principles, she said, adding that the evaluation will offer concrete policy recommendations and practical initiatives to improve the country's internet environment, especially in light of the evolving frontier of information and communications technologies.

In the meantime, to bridge the digital gap, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology has launched a national digital literacy program aimed at empowering those without means with digital skills.

"We have implemented several policies, and additional ones, such as the National Digital Strategy, Cybercrime, and Data Protection laws, are in draft format," she said.

The Presidential Task Force on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, established by Namibian President Hage Geingob, has also contributed to assessing the readiness for technological advancements. Enditem

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