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Eises encourages learners to embrace their mother tongueGhana hosts Global 2024 ICT4D Conference in March

The director of education in the Oshikoto Region, Aletta Eises, has encouraged learners from the San communities and other tribes to embrace their mother tongue.

Eises said this in an interview with Nampa following her participation in International Mother Language Day celebrations at the Tsumeb Secondary School on Wednesday.

She said a variety of languages with various dialects are spoken in Namibia, but some local languages are dwindling in use across the country. She urged communities to take steps to preserve their languages.

‘We have the Hai//om of the San communities that are assimilated into Khoekhoegowab, and they are forced to speak and write that language at school,’ said Eises.

She expressed concern over the endangerment of the Hai//om languages, pointing out their absence from high school curricula in certain regions and limited instruction in lower grades. Eises emphasised the importance of incorporating Hai//om languages into education.

”The Hai//om languages must be taught to learners to
make sure they take it to university when they want to pursue their studies, currently it is only taught until Grade 3,’ she said.

Eises further underscored the necessity of written documentation for the Hai//om languages, stating that effort should be made to establish a writing system. Additionally, she encouraged learners in the Oshikoto Region to maintain their mother tongues, warning of the risk of language extinction if proactive measures are not taken.

Eises emphasised the significance of commemorating Mother Language Day in Namibia, highlighting its role in fostering communication and cultural preservation.

‘Languages provide us with identity and hope, contributing to our cultural heritage. International Mother Language Day serves to raise awareness of the importance of preserving mother languages,’ said Eises.

She emphasised the collective responsibility to safeguard, promote, and uphold indigenous languages. Eises noted the recent inclusion of Khoekhoegowab in secondary school curricula in the O
shikoto Region since 2019, alongside Oshindonga, Oshikwanyama, Afrikaans, and English, as part of efforts to diversify linguistic education.

Source: Namibia Press Agency

Ghana will in March this year host the 12th Information and Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D) conference in Accra.

Scheduled from March 19th to 20th, with training workshops on the 18th and 21st of March, the conference founded by the Catholic Relief Service and a consortium of Experts in ICT would bring together a community of practitioners and learn from each other on how to apply rapidly evolving digital technologies to help accelerate the end of poverty, hunger, and preventable disease.

A statement signed by Mr E. Maaweh Tanga, a Communication Development Professional and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said ICT4D Conference was a dynamic multi-disciplinary gathering of some 600 inspiring leaders and thought-provoking speakers from public, private, and civil society organizations from across the humanitarian and international development community.

‘The global conference explores how Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) and data innovations are making a
measurable difference in millions of peoples’ lives and increasing the impact of humanitarian relief and development projects’.

He said the conference aims at advancing global knowledge exchange and building capacity on ICT4D and digital development to drive more impactful use of technology for good.

‘Highly interactive and hands-on, the conference attracts a diverse audience of technical advisors and senior executives from renowned global firms and organizations who are passionate about discussing innovative solutions to emerging global challenges’.

Mr Tanga said this year’s conference agenda would focus on three main themes. The ‘Digital to Tackle Wicked Problems’ theme which emphasizes the important role of digital and collaborative solutions in addressing socially complex, sometimes contradictory, and often changing problems.

‘This theme highlights essential topics such as Food security and agriculture; Climate change adaptation and mitigation; Digital health; Conflict, peacebuilding, social cohes
ion; Youth engagement and employment; Digital inclusion; and Digital Cash’.

He said the theme would also feature multiple sessions focused on innovations in using geospatial data for development and humanitarian outcomes, and how the most recent developments in AI and machine learning could be applied for social good.

‘ The third theme, ‘Local Leadership for a Digital Future’ will feature discussions that highlight opportunities and approaches to build responsible, sustainable, and locally owned digital foundations. Much of the focus will be on digital public goods and digital public infrastructure, as these are increasingly recognized as essential for societies to reap the benefits of digital transformation’.

The local partner, he said was the Ministry of Communication and Digitalization (MOCD) the official Government of Ghana partner for the 2024 ICT4D Conference.

‘ Marshalling a blend of local expertise from across the public service and specialized agencies and ministries, MOCD is coordinating the f
ull participation of Ghana’s public sector actors to both enrich the conference and highlight its local leadership theme. The MOCD is a key partner in the local organizing committee of the conference’.

He said as the Ministry charged with leading Ghana’s digital transformation and digitalization of public services, the MOCD was strategically positioned to coordinate with CRS and their partners to deliver a colourful and exciting event this year.

‘The ministry is expected to share Ghana’s record of blazing the trail in successfully rolling out policy initiatives that have significantly impacted several sectors of the economy, like the introduction of Mobile Money interoperability, the first of its kind on the African continent at the time’.

The event was first held in Ghana in 2013. Since then, it has taken a tour of the world and introduced a virtual session in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the statement, Nora Lindström, a Senior ICT4D Director at Catholic Relief Services (CRS) said, ‘Ea
ch year I am amazed by the incredible examples of how the responsible and effective use of tech and data enable us to increase our impact at scale. I am particularly excited about the upcoming Conference as it will bring together the global ICT4D community in person after a long time.’

Source: Ghana News Agency