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

Arrest warrants issued against Lotfi Ali and former CEO of Gafsa Phosphate Company

Tunis: Two committal warrants issued against businessman and former MP, Lotfi Ali, and former CEO of the Gafsa Phosphate Company (CPG), Romdhane Souid, have been implemented, Saturday, said Deputy Attorney General at the Economic and Financial Judicial Division, Sonia Moussaoui,

Speaking to TAP, Moussaoui added that the Indictment Chamber at the Tunis Court of Appeal Specializing in Financial Corruption Cases, issued arrest warrants against Lotfi Ali, his brother Mouldi Ali, Abdelwaheb Hfaïedh, Romdhane Souid and Slim Feriani (Minister of Industry under the Chahed government).

The case concerns a phosphate extraction and transport contract signed between the CPG and the three defendants, she pointed out.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Rached Ghannouchi, Rafik Bouchleka sentenced to 3 years’ imprisonment

Tunis: President of Ennahdha movement Rached Ghannouchi and his son-in-law former Foreign Minister Rafik Bouchleka were sentenced by the Correctional Chamber of the Judicial Financial Division to 3 years in prison, to be served immediately.

The case concerns foreign funding of the Ennahdha Movement, according to a statement released on Saturday by the Tunis First Instance Court.

The accused, along with the legal representative of the Ennahdha Movement, have also been sentenced to a fine equivalent to the amount of foreign funds received in this case.

On February 1, the Criminal Chamber specialising in financial corruption crimes at the Tunis First Instance Court sentenced Rached Ghannouchi and his son-in-law Rafik Bouchleka to three years in prison with immediate effect.

The Court also imposed a fine of $1.17 million or its equivalent in Tunisian dinars on the Ennahdha Movement for accepting financial donations from a foreign entity in connection with the funding of the 2019 electoral campaign.

Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Four-month suspended prison sentence for ARP deputy Moez Ben Youssef

Tunis: The criminal division of the Sousse 2 Court of First Instance on Friday sentenced Assembly of People’s Representatives (ARP) deputy Moez Ben Youssef to a 4-month suspended prison sentence and a fine.

Lawyer Houssem Zayani told TAP that the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Sousse 2 Court of First Instance had issued a warrant against the MP on July 1, accusing him of “insulting a public official and drunkenness.”

The warrant had been issued following an altercation between the MP and a taxi driver, which subsequently escalated into an argument and verbal exchange with law enforcement officers, he specified.

“The defence will appeal this ruling against the MP, who enjoys parliamentary immunity, in accordance with the provisions of Article 65 of the Tunisian Constitution,” said Zayani.

Under article 65 of the Tunisian Constitution, no MP may be prosecuted or arrested during his or her term of office for criminal offences until the Assembly of People’s Representatives has lifted the immunity covering
him or her.

However, if they are caught in the act, they may be arrested. The ARP is informed without delay and the arrest is maintained if the immunity is lifted. Article 66 stipulates that MPs do not enjoy parliamentary immunity for offences of insult, defamation and exchange of violence committed inside or outside the parliament, nor do they enjoy immunity if they interfere with the proper functioning of the assembly.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

ISIE urges citizens to report fraudulent endorsements for 2024 presidential election

Tunis: The Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE) urged citizens to report fraudulent endorsements of presidential candidates by calling the free tall number 1814.

The ISIE pointed out in a press release issued on Saturday that complaints can also be lodged directly with one of the ISIE’s nearest offices.

The ISIE unveiled the electoral calendar for the forthcoming presidential election on October 6 at a press conference last week.

President of the authority Farouk Bouasker spoke at the time about the new criteria required of candidates, notably with regard to the issue of sponsorship. Candidates must secure the endorsement of ten members of the Assembly of People’s Representatives or the National Council of Regions and Districts, or 40 elected presidents of local authorities in office at the time of acceptance of candidacies (local, regional or municipal councils), or the endorsement of 10,000 registered voters spread over at least 10 legislative constituencies, with a minimum of 500 voters per c

To date, more than forty people have withdrawn their endorsement forms from within and outside the country. Nominations are due to be submitted between July 29 and August 6.

Bouasker announced that the ISIE would check the list of endorsers and their signatures, which would be published so that voters could consult it and lodge appeals if necessary.

Bouasker warned that endorsements which do not comply with the model drawn up by the authority and which do not include the required data will not be accepted by the authority.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

President of the Republic calls for urgent clean-up campaign in Hammam-Lif

Tunis: President Kais Saied has called for an urgent clean-up campaign in the town of Hammam-Lif in the Ben Arous governorate, pending radical solutions to the problem of pollution and the improvement of the situation not only in this town but also at the national level, according to a statement from the Presidency of the Republic.

The President visited on Friday the city of Hammam-Lif, where he took note of the disastrous environmental situation caused by negligence, the dumping of waste water into the sea, urban development that does not take into account the most basic rules of development and the presence of historical monuments that have been turned into dilapidated buildings.

The Head of State also stressed the need to hold accountable all those responsible for these acts, which, according to the same statement, are tantamount to crimes.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Uutoni proposes amendment allowing public servants to run for NA without resigning

Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Uutoni, on Wednesday introduced an urgent amendment to Section 77 of the Electoral Act, which pertains to the nomination of candidates for the election of members of the National Assembly (NA).

In his motivation speech regarding the amendments, Uutoni explained that the Electoral Amendment Bill seeks to allow remunerated members of the public service to be nominated and to accept nominations as candidates for National Assembly (NA) election without having to resign from their employment.

Uutoni said the bill also allows remunerated members to utilise their leave days and take leave from their employment from the date of publication of their names on the party list until the election results are announced.

‘The proposed amendment will enable the upholding of constitutional rights and democracy, as well as the smooth administration of the electoral process and public service. Therefore, the clause expands the requirements for persons whose names may be submitt
ed in the party list by political parties, instead of relying solely on Article 47(1)(a) of the Constitution as is currently the case,’ said Uutoni.

According to the minister, under the amended bill, a person who did not secure a seat in the National Assembly can return to their employment. However, candidates that manage to secure seats in the National Assembly will be deemed to have resigned from the public service as from the date of the announcement of the results of the National Assembly elections.

‘The person participating in the NA election is not guaranteed that his or her political party will win or obtain enough seats in accordance with the Namibian Constitution. If such a person fails to obtain a seat, that person becomes unemployed as he or she is unable to return to the employment they initially resigned from for the purposes of participating in the NA election,’ stressed the minister.

In terms of the proposed amendment, an affected candidate would be required to notify their employer and the
Electoral Commission of Namibia that they have accepted the nomination and choose to resign or take early retirement if they have or will attain the age of 55 on or before the announcement of the election results.

Source: The Namibia News Agency