The Senior Officials in the Ministries responsible for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Public Information from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member States are meeting on 24 – 25 September 2018, in Windhoek, Namibia.
The SADC Secretariat Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration (DES-RI) Dr. Thembinkosi Mhlongo is leading the SADC Secretariat Team at the meetings which will review and prepare documents for the joint meeting of Ministers responsible for ICT, Information, Transport and Meteorology scheduled for 27, September 2018. The Senior Officials for the Transport and Meteorology sectors will be meeting on 25 – 26 September 2018, at the same venue.
The meeting was officially opened by the Deputy Minister in the Ministry of ICT in the Republic of Namibia Hon. Engel Nawatiseb, who noted that while significant progress has been made in implementing decisions aimed at achieving the SADC Regional Integration goals in the area of ICT, Telecommunication and Public Information, there was still much more to do for the well-being of the of SADC Citizens.
Hon. Nawatiseb highlighted the important role of the ICT and Information sectors noting that they are critical enablers of innovation, sustainable socio-economic development and catalysts to facilitate national priorities in all respects of the people in the SADC region.
On Friday the delegates will be taken on a tour of two regional projects implemented in Namibia, namely the Swakopmund Submarine Landing Station, and the Port of Walvis Bay, which aim to facilitate access to affordable Internet and movement of goods, respectively.
In the SADC spirit of solidarity, the Deputy Minister invited delegates to observe a minute of silence in remembrance of the lives lost in the United Republic of Tanzania last week, during a ferry accident that led to the loss of more than 200 lives. The ferry was traveling from Bugolora to Ukara Island when it capsized 200 meters (about 650 feet) from its destination.
The SADC meetings of Senior Officials provide a technical advisory role and review documents in preparation for the Sectoral Ministers’ meetings.