Windhoek here we have been again: ICT summit 2011

Regional Council, Ministry of Education and Interteam staff members, WindhoekMy second time at the biggest event for the country’s ICT industry. Thanks to the informal communication channel among the Directorates and Regional Councils which is developing quite well not just technical personal from the 4-O-Region attended the summit this year: Kavango, Hardap and Karas came also aboard. This is the good news. The bad news is that ICT technicians of other Regions still struggle to get the approval by their superiors for such an event. Some were just denied, from one region I’ve heard that the question ‘what is the benefit for the Directorate?’ had been raised. Reasonable question. Omusati Region teamBut after one and half year embedded with the Namibian Government you know that approval/disapproval for a trip or workshop is not just a matter of people understanding the raising importance of ICT and its implications in the regions (in most cases they don’t do). In my book it is also about money: S&T (subsistence & travel allowance). To put it careful: rumor has it that decisions about who is sent to a ‘workshop’ has sometimes more to do with hierarchy than objective criteria. The National Conference on Education which took place in June gives an example: none of the regional technical ICT personal attended the conference. Instead regions sent all their Head of Sections.Victor getting in shape, Windhoek Some of them had virtually nothing to do with any education topic whilst ICT was one key session at the conference. The Government would have been wise to had someone there to crush their ambitious plans when it came to ICT usage (thus infrastructure) at schools. Anyway, what was the benefit of the summit? As last year: you didn’t go for the speeches (although one was really good). It was once more a good opportunity to see people in person and not just chat with them on the phone. After the summit we also managed to talk to some people at the Government Park and I was able to get an exclusive tour at the company which is running the fleet management system for all the 300 cars of the Ministry.