Namibia’s Digital Foreign Policy and Diplomacy (Briefing Paper #3)

This briefing paper emerged from Diplo's participation in Namibia's Foreign Policy Review Conference (July 2016). In this paper, Dr Katharina E. Höne suggests a three-pronged approach to Namibia's digital foreign policy and diplomacy, and looks at the discourse on information and communications technology (ICT) and development.
Resource type
Author
Year
File
Briefs and Reports
Katharina Höne
2016

She makes five recommendations:

  1. There are notable policy initiatives in Namibia, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, and at the level of the African Union (AU) that have the potential to address the digital divide and promote ICT development.
  2. A three-pronged approach to Namibia’s foreign policy, consisting of internet infrastructure and digital geopolitics, digital policy and internet governance, and digital diplomacy is recommended.
  3. Despite advancements in connectivity via undersea cables, mobile access is the most important factor to connect the unconnected in Namibia and Africa as a whole. Further national infrastructure development and the promotion of greater cross-border connectivity in the region remain crucial infrastructure challenges.
  4. Policies and regulatory frameworks are key in order to fully benefit from ICT possibilities. ICT policy needs to be approached as a cross-sectoral issue and cannot be treated in policy silos. It will be important to ensure a ‘whole-of-government’ approach to manage the digital impact on economic development, security, culture, education, etc.
  5. ICT is crucial for achieving the ambitious SDG agenda. By aligning ICT-related foreign policy explicitly with the sustainable development goals (SDGs), additional momentum can be gained and international cooperation can be fostered.

Related Resources

12 Aug, 2011

Emerging Leaders for a Digital World (2011): Dalsie Greenrose Kalna Baniala from Vanuatu

‘With the number of training courses I have attended, including attending the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), I have learnt a lot.’... Read more...

11 Aug, 2017

International multistakeholder cyber threat information sharing regimes: Policy considerations for scaling trust and active participation

This paper examines cybersecurity information sharing mechanisms. It looks at the research into public-private partnership (PPP) theory, their application for cybersecurity, and the burgeoning field of international cybersecurity collaboration, and draws conclusions on... Read more...

14 Aug, 1998

The Internet and diplomats of the 20th century

The Internet and diplomats of the twenty century: how new information technologies affect the ordinary work of diplomats.... Read more...

24 Aug, 2017

Towards a secure cyberspace via regional co-operation

The study Towards a secure cyberspace via regional co-operation provides an overview of the international dialogue on establishing norms of state behaviour and confidence-building measures in cyberspace. ... Read more...

05 May, 2011

China’s Soft Power in the Information Age: Think Again

In recent years, many have argued that China has been largely successful at using soft power to bolster its rise to great power status. This essay suggests that the Chinese government—and other authoritarian states—have fundamentally misread the nature of the relat... Read more...