HUYE - Visiting legislators from Namibia have described ICT development and use in various sectors in the country as ‘impressive’ and worth emulating.
The legislators who sit on the ICT Committee in the Namibian National Assembly, Thursday visited the National University of Rwanda where they had a guided tour of the several facilities which included the University’s Radio Salus, the Centre for Geographic Information Systems, and the Rwanda Development Gateway, among others.
Lucia Witbooi, the head of the delegation, said that committee members had been impressed by the success Rwanda has registered in the development of ICT.
“The involvement of children, right from primary level in ICT education, to me, is very impressive. This creates interest in the young people who are the future specialists,” said Witbooi.
“We have also learnt that the role of leadership is very important; you have a vision of what you want and the drive from the political side is unwavering,” she added.
While touring the University’s Radio Salus, which has been in existence for five years now and has trained over 200 students, the legislators heard from Aldo Havugimana, the director of station.
He said that the radio, which has the second largest audience in the country, integrates various Information and Communication Technologies to reach out to its audience.
“We have phone-in programmes where listeners interact with presenters, listeners can also use short message service to contribute to discussions while many more follow us online where they engage in live chats with presenters,” Havugimana said.
Another legislator, Elifas Dingara, said the visit has helped committee members to confirm and understand the role of ICT in the development of a nation.
He added that he was particularly impressed by the development and use of ICT at the Ministry of Health.
At the University Centre for Geographic Information Systems (CGIS), the legislators were briefed on the use of GIS tools in addressing issues like flooding, wetland degradation, biodiversity conservation, boosting food production, soil loss, forest fires and poverty.
Dr Felicia Akinyemi, the Deputy Director of the centre, said GIS has also been used in the determination of Rwanda coffee appellation regions.
“We want to see what makes Rwanda coffee special, especially when it relates to the brand; we need to link the taste of the coffee to the geographic and climatic variables. We want to see if this good coffee is coming, say, from Butare, why is it different from that coming from Kigali,” Dr Akinyemi said.