Namibia’s Internet penetration rate is still well below 50%. The government is working to reduce this gap which could hamper its post-Covid economic recovery efforts.
PowerCom, a specialist in providing ICT infrastructure and equipment, has started building new telecom towers across Namibia. This subsidiary of the 100% state-owned mobile telephone operator, Telecom Namibia, plans to invest 5.4 million Namibian dollars (approximately 365,000 USD) in this operation to extend the telecoms network, including the The objective is to meet the demands for connectivity which are multiplying in several cities.
PowerCom CEO Alisa Amupolo said that “with these telecom infrastructures, people and businesses will be able to communicate and do business easily, adding value to our country’s economic growth […] the pandemic has had a lasting impact on how technology fits into our daily lives. With these new towers, PowerCom strives to minimize the digital divide by enabling connectivity for every Namibian ”.
Like several other countries in Africa, Namibia has made digital technology a pillar of its post-Covid-19 economic recovery. But to achieve this goal, it is necessary that the broadband penetration rate improves first in the country. As of December 31, 2020, it was only 13.4% according to internetworldstats.com . Addressing this weakness will not only allow Telecom Namibia to take its services further into the country, but also the government to bridge the digital divide.
With better coverage of the national territory by telecoms network, Namibia should see its socioeconomic situation evolve. In its 2016 “Digital Dividends: Exploring the Relationship Between Broadband and Economic Growth”, the World Bank explains that a 10% increase in broadband penetration rate would increase GDP growth by 1.21% in developed economies. and 1.38% in developing economies.