Fourth Namibia Annual International Cybersecurity Conference underway

WINDHOEK: The fourth Namibia Annual International High-Level Cybersecurity Conference is underway in Windhoek, under the theme ‘Emerging Cybersecurity Threats and the country’s preparedness to build a safer digital space’.

The three-day conference started on Wednesday and will end on Friday.

In his keynote address, the Deputy Minister of Information, Communication and Technology, Modestus Amutse, said the conference aims to provide a platform for collaboration and knowledge exchange among key stakeholders in the cybersecurity domain, catering to various sectors of the economy.

‘In an era defined by rapid technological advancements and increasing interconnectedness, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated. Just as much as we advocate for digital inclusion, connectivity and embracing digital technologies in our quest towards effective and efficient service delivery to our clientele, we all have an obligation to safeguard our networks, systems, and data against cyber threats on a daily basis,’ Am
utse said.

Amutse also emphasised the importance of collaboration among stakeholders in discussing the evolving trends and threats of the cybersecurity landscape.

‘Namibia, like many other countries, is increasingly reliant on digital technologies across sectors such as oil and gas, mining, energy, aviation, mobile, and telecommunications. Cybercrimes know no boundaries and every sector is at risk of cyberattacks resulting in potential massive financial losses and reputational risks for organisations and individuals alike,’ he added.

According to him, the challenges faced by developing countries in securing the digital economy require collective efforts from governments, industry leaders, academia, civil society and all players in the ecosystem.

‘Through collaboration, we can develop effective strategies and solutions that will safeguard our digital infrastructure and enable us to fully harness the opportunities presented by the digital economy,’ Amutse added.

Source: The Namibia News Agency

Over 90 000 individuals served with national documents

WINDHOEK: The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security will conclude this year’s mass registration outreach exercise at the end of this month, having served over 90,000 individuals with national documents.

The mass registration to all 121 constituencies started on 05 February 2024 and is scheduled to end on 31 July 2024.

During that period, Deputy Minister Lucia Witbooi said on Wednesday that the ministry managed to assist 94,317 people until Tuesday.

She said the outreaches aim to provide national documents such as birth certificates, identity documents, and duplicate documents, and accept citizenship applications from those who meet the requirements.

‘We are working closely with constituency councillors, especially in the identification of registration points and in ensuring that the communities are informed about the dates of the mobile visits to their respective localities.

This programme ends on 31 July and people are encouraged to make use of this opportunity. It must be noted th
at during this exercise, no applicant will be turned away without his or her details being taken,’ Witbooi said.

She added that during the mass registration exercise, the ministry also documented the information of undocumented and stateless individuals residing in Namibia.

Their details will be verified, and their applications will be handled accordingly. The details of those who are undocumented and stateless will be captured in the functional register, which will assist in identifying and tracing them once the relevant bills to address the issue of stateless and undocumented persons are passed, she said.

To regularise the status of undocumented persons, Witbooi said her ministry has drafted the Regularisation of Status of Certain Residents of Namibia, their Foreign Spouses, and their Descendants Bill.

She emphasised that the bill will ‘especially cater for those still in possession of South West Africa IDs, their foreign spouses and their children who do not meet the requirements of the current legisla
tion to acquire Namibian citizenship.’

To deal with statelessness, Witbooi said the Statelessness Determination and Protection Bill will soon be tabled in parliament.

Source: The Namibia News Agency

Eighth National ICT Summit launched in capital

WINDHOEK: The Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology (MICT) on Tuesday officially launched the Eighth National Information Communication Technology (ICT) Summit set to take place between 9-11 September this year.

The launch coincided with a sponsorship handover of N.dollars 1010 000 in monetary value and N.dollars 456 000 in kind from the various sponsors who will also form part of the summit.

Launching the summit, ICT Minister Emma Theofelus said this year’s theme ‘Building Resilience to ‘Adapt or Die’ in the Era of Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence (AI)’ is not only timely but also critical as the country navigates the fast-paced evolution of technology.

Theofelus said in today’s world, digital transformation and AI are not merely trends but are the driving forces reshaping societies, economies, and day-to-day lives. Therefore, ‘The imperative to ‘adapt or die’ encapsulates the urgency with which we must embrace these technological advancements to ensure our nation’s com
petitiveness, resilience, and prosperity,’ she added.

According to Theofelus, while digital transformation presents unprecedented opportunities for innovation, economic growth, and social advancement, it also brings challenges that ‘require robust infrastructure, skilled human capital, and forward-thinking legislative and policy frameworks to harness its full potential and mitigate associated risks.’

The minister further said that AI, a key component of the digital revolution holds transformative power across various sectors and can enhance efficiency, drive innovation, and deliver improved outcomes.

‘Yet the integration of AI into our system must be approached with caution, ensuring ethical standards, transparency, and inclusivity,’ she said.

On his part, the Deputy Minister of ICT, Modestus Amutse said the summit allows for robust discussions on innovations and trials throughout the industry and allows Namibians to learn and embrace the digital transformation brought about by AI.

‘We ought to work toge
ther and deliberate on how we can ensure that Namibia is one of the leading countries in digital evolution in Africa and that it is not left behind in artificial intelligence advancements,’ he said.

Source: The Namibia News Agency

ECN distances itself from RDP’s internal politics

WINDHOEK: The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has indicated that it does not interfere with the internal affairs of political parties, amidst continuous leadership infighting within the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) party.

The ECN has been accused by former RDP parliamentarian, Kandy Nehova, of allegedly taking unprecedented steps by intervening in the internal affairs of the RDP, resulting in the installation of an unauthorised representative in parliament, Mike Kavekotora.

Responding to Nampa’s questions regarding the ECN’s position in the matter, its spokesperson, De Wet Siluka, said on Tuesday that, in their view, Mike Kavekotora was duly nominated as the presidential candidate of the RDP in 2019 by the authorised representative of the party in conformity with the provisions of the amended Electoral Act 05 of 2014.

‘ECN does not deal with factions within a political party. There exists no relationship between the ECN and Mr. Mike Kavekotora other than the fact that, according to our reco
rds, he is the president of the RDP, a political party duly registered in terms of Section 137 of the Electoral Act, 05 of 2014, as amended,’ he explained.

According to Nehova, Kavekotora, who resigned as a Member of Parliament in March 2024 and was presided over by Kennedy Shekupakela, is illegitimately representing the party as they have not received the required 51 per cent of votes as per the party constitution in June 2019 elections.

‘Mike Kavekotora and Kennedy Shekupakela never got 51 per cent of votes cast, and a rerun was never ordered by the chairperson of the elections committee. The ECN was well informed about this from the beginning,’ he noted.

Nehova indicated that the legitimate leadership with the central committee was elected in October 2019, noting that a petition of 200 signatures objecting to Kavekotora’s presidential candidacy in 2019 was submitted to the ECN.

Meanwhile, Siluka indicated that should factions arise within a party, the best course of action would be for the contesting f
action to seek redress from the Electoral Court.

However, RDP legal secretary and constitutional affairs representative, Amanda Titus said they took the issue to the Electoral Court in 2019, but the court indicated that it does not have jurisdiction to hear the merit of the case and referred them to the tribunal court or the ECN.

‘They said we must approach the tribunal court because it is an issue that arose before polling day‚Ķ but the Electoral Act that outlines the powers of the Electoral court shows that the Electoral court does have jurisdiction. It is our interpretation that the Electoral Court saw the merit because it took them approximately almost four years just to constitute the court,’ she said.

She further indicated that a case of fraud against Kavekotora and Shekupakela was opened. The case also involves alleged false representation with intent to commit fraud.

Source: The Namibia News Agency

Nationals from non-reciprocal countries to pay for visa

WINDHOEK: The Namibian government is moving forward with implementing a new visa on arrival regulation, now requiring affected nationals to pay a fee upon arrival.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security, Lucia Witbooi, announced on Wednesday that nationals from 33 countries will be required to pay N.dollars 1 600 for a visa application starting from 01 April 2025.

She noted that the countries affected are the ones that did not reciprocate Namibia’s gesture of exempting several countries from visa requirements.

This exemption applies to holders of diplomatic, official, and ordinary passports when they visit Namibia for a maximum of 90 days, according to Witbooi.

‘Since the exemption was granted 33 years ago, it is perhaps time to review and assess whether Namibia will continue giving a visa-free regime to countries that have not reciprocated to our good gesture, perhaps based on other considerations,’ she said.

Witbooi said that at independence, some countries that were exem
pted from Namibia’s visa requirements have not reciprocated the goodwill.

‘The reasons for not returning the goodwill remain unknown. We have also noted how in 2012 the Canadian government and in 2023 the British government imposed visa requirements on all Namibian passport holders, despite initially reciprocating by removing visa requirements for Namibians,’ she said.

The new regulation will impact countries such as Belgium, Brazil, Armenia, Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, and Kazakhstan.

‘The nationals from these countries, however, will qualify for visas on arrival upon paying the prescribed fees and meeting the entry requirements in respect of Namibia. The entry requirements in respect of Namibia include, but are not limited to, a return ticket, medical insurance, proof of means of sustenance while in Namibia, not wanted by any country for criminal activities, and a passport valid for at least six months on the d
ate of arrival,’ Witbooi said.

Source: The Namibia News Agency

Fourth Namibia Annual International Cybersecurity Conference underway

WINDHOEK: The fourth Namibia Annual International High-Level Cybersecurity Conference is underway in Windhoek, under the theme ‘Emerging Cybersecurity Threats and the country’s preparedness to build a safer digital space’.

The three-day conference started on Wednesday and will end on Friday.

In his keynote address, the Deputy Minister of Information, Communication and Technology, Modestus Amutse, said the conference aims to provide a platform for collaboration and knowledge exchange among key stakeholders in the cybersecurity domain, catering to various sectors of the economy.

‘In an era defined by rapid technological advancements and increasing interconnectedness, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated. Just as much as we advocate for digital inclusion, connectivity and embracing digital technologies in our quest towards effective and efficient service delivery to our clientele, we all have an obligation to safeguard our networks, systems, and data against cyber threats on a daily basis,’ Am
utse said.

Amutse also emphasised the importance of collaboration among stakeholders in discussing the evolving trends and threats of the cybersecurity landscape.

‘Namibia, like many other countries, is increasingly reliant on digital technologies across sectors such as oil and gas, mining, energy, aviation, mobile, and telecommunications. Cybercrimes know no boundaries and every sector is at risk of cyberattacks resulting in potential massive financial losses and reputational risks for organisations and individuals alike,’ he added.

According to him, the challenges faced by developing countries in securing the digital economy require collective efforts from governments, industry leaders, academia, civil society and all players in the ecosystem.

‘Through collaboration, we can develop effective strategies and solutions that will safeguard our digital infrastructure and enable us to fully harness the opportunities presented by the digital economy,’ Amutse added.

Source: The Namibia News Agency

Over 90 000 individuals served with national documents

WINDHOEK: The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety, and Security will conclude this year’s mass registration outreach exercise at the end of this month, having served over 90,000 individuals with national documents.

The mass registration to all 121 constituencies started on 05 February 2024 and is scheduled to end on 31 July 2024.

During that period, Deputy Minister Lucia Witbooi said on Wednesday that the ministry managed to assist 94,317 people until Tuesday.

She said the outreaches aim to provide national documents such as birth certificates, identity documents, and duplicate documents, and accept citizenship applications from those who meet the requirements.

‘We are working closely with constituency councillors, especially in the identification of registration points and in ensuring that the communities are informed about the dates of the mobile visits to their respective localities.

This programme ends on 31 July and people are encouraged to make use of this opportunity. It must be noted th
at during this exercise, no applicant will be turned away without his or her details being taken,’ Witbooi said.

She added that during the mass registration exercise, the ministry also documented the information of undocumented and stateless individuals residing in Namibia.

Their details will be verified, and their applications will be handled accordingly. The details of those who are undocumented and stateless will be captured in the functional register, which will assist in identifying and tracing them once the relevant bills to address the issue of stateless and undocumented persons are passed, she said.

To regularise the status of undocumented persons, Witbooi said her ministry has drafted the Regularisation of Status of Certain Residents of Namibia, their Foreign Spouses, and their Descendants Bill.

She emphasised that the bill will ‘especially cater for those still in possession of South West Africa IDs, their foreign spouses and their children who do not meet the requirements of the current legisla
tion to acquire Namibian citizenship.’

To deal with statelessness, Witbooi said the Statelessness Determination and Protection Bill will soon be tabled in parliament.

Source: The Namibia News Agency