Technology advances require from Namibians to re-skill and upskill

Namibia’s dropped by six places on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2017-2018) from 84th place to 90th place [out of 137 countries). The lower a country scores out of 137, the better that country’s business climate.
According to the Managing Director of the Namibia Ports Authority, Mr Bisey Uirab, who made mention of Namibia’s drop in the ranks last Thursday at the annual Port Users Luncheon five problematic factors were identified as the root cause: access to financing, an inadequately educated work force, inefficient government bureaucracy, corruption and poor ethics in the national labour force.
According to Uirab access to financing, an inadequately educated work force, corruption and poor ethics in the national labour force dominated in the last three competitiveness reports.
Mr Uirab singled out education of the work force and ethics in his address to guests.
In the operating environment of Namibia’s ports, said Uirab, future jobs will require from Namibians to be digitally literate employees. The shipping industry globally makes great strides in integrating technology in its operations, explained Uirab.
Port terminals like that of the Port of Rotterdam and APMT Terminals are among the most automated in the word. Automation is also a certainty in the future of Namibian ports. At the same time there are concepts being developed of next generation cargo ships which are fully automated with no need for crew.
“A technologically rich environment has the power to improve efficiency and productivity and at the same time reduce cost. The business plan we are crafting has a heavy focus on process improvement through automation – gate, yard, access control and general cargo”, explained Mr. Uirab. Hence the need for Namibians to become skilled and trained to work and operate in these automated environments.
“We have a lot to change in terms of education and work ethics and so we need to start working on this as a matter of urgency. Re-skill and upskill are the magic words”, he said.

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