Digital Transformation in Namibia
A WSA country feature in partnership with DTC Namibia
Using digital tools to improve local and global life conditions in line with the achievements of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the core objectives of World Summit Awards (WSA) and the Digital Transformation Centers (DTCs) by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Both WSA and the DTCs search and support digital projects, ventures, start-ups and furthermore strengthen local networks and the exchange with international experts and community.
In 2022, the cooperation between WSA and DTC Namibia gave a perfect example of a successful partnership.
Development cooperation with a digital focus
The Digital Transformation Center Namibia, under the StartUp Namibia project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by GIZ. The DTC focuses on three key pillars: namely digital innovation, digital skills training and strengthening the digital ecosystem through pan-African networking. The aim is to improve the conditions for the formation and growth of start-ups.
StartUp Namibia established an incubation and innovation centre called “Basecamp”, with a co-working space, maker-space, community area and a small shop. It serves as a “one-stop shop” for all the needs that start-ups face during their ideation, formation, incubation and growth phases. The project served more than 3700 clients, of which 50% are female.
Since project inception, more than 400 start-ups participated in ideation-, incubation- and acceleration programmes, with a particular focus on female founders (54%). The best-performing start-ups in the Basecamp and the Digital Centre incubation and acceleration programmes have access to StartUp Namibia’s “Slingshot Fund”, with milestone-based grants of up to 5,000 Euro. To date, approximately 20 start-ups have benefited from this initiative.
WSA, DTC & Namibia
WSA works with National Experts to reach local ecosystems in 187 countries, nominating the best available local digital impact ventures to the global competition. Within the ongoing cooperation between WSA and DTC, an important part is strengthening local networks and the exchange with international experts and community.
Namibian WSA winners
In 2022, the Namibian start-up community was invited to follow the WSA call, and out of six nominations two projects are among the 40 WSA winners 2022.
- ExploRadio (Culture & Tourism)is an audio-guide app for and about Namibia, with a broad variety of stories around Namibia’s cultures, languages, history, nature & animals. It is an informative and useful addition to a mindful travel experience through Namibia, giving insights into historical sites and monuments but also into the colonial history of the country.
The art of storytelling is inseparably intertwined with the African continent. ExploRadio uses this tradition to bring Namibia, its people and stories, its history and attractions, to life for their users. The audio features are presented by professional voice artists, detailing the rich history of Namibia and giving valuable insights about landmarks, natural history, tourist safety tips and much more.
The app uses the GPS location of the user to directly inform about certain landmarks, but also contains a large selection of clips to be listened to at any time. ExploRadio also produces a variety of African Folktales as well as a Podcast to bring Namibia even closer.
- JABU (Business & Commerce)is a delivery service mainly for small retailers, bars and restaurants to source, stock, and pay for their products in Southern African countries. It empowers shops by bringing the goods they need to the door of their business, while picking up the cash in order to help them grow their market share.
JABU provides retailers with affordable and transparent pricing, same-day delivery, and a seamless one-stop shop for all their product needs and finance solutions. It is the only company doing the last 100 meters of cash (and the last mile) for informal sector retailers in Namibia, Zambia, South Africa and recently entered Botswana.