Debunking E-commerce…An exclusive interview with rising star Emilia Eino

Emilia Eino has served in the ICT sector for 12 years. She first served as a Development Planner responsible for ICT infrastructure development . As the founding manager and expert in the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia she introduced the first development of the first ever Regulatory Framework for the postal sector in Namibia. She is currently serving as a Council Member on the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU).

Where does Emilia Eino come from?

I was born and raised in Windhoek, Namibia.

Can you tell us about your family?

I belong to a nuclear family of 3 biological brothers, 2 beautiful girls who I call my sister as they were raised by my mom and dad since birth. One is now an electrical engineer and one a microbiologist, currently pursuing her Master Degree.

Where did you do your initial school?

Mandume Primary school

Namutoni Senior Primary school

Immanuel Shifidi Secondary School

Can you share your educational background?

Bachelor’s degree – Public Management – Polyethnic of Namibia

Honors Degree – Public Management – Namibia University of Science Technology

Master’s Degree (Business Administration) majoring in Management Strategy

Master’s Degree Project Management– Liverpool John Moore University (Currently completing final year)

Certificate in Basic Principles of International Communications Regulation and Policy – American Universality Washington College of Laws (US)

Certificate – Postal Policy and Regulation for the Digital Era- Witwatersrand University

Advanced Certificate – Transformational Leadership with the African Leadership Institute (graduating November 2023)

Scheduled to commence with my MBA -Finance with the University of East London in 2024.

Was ICT always your first career choice?

No. I always wanted to be the weather lady on NBC news. (laughs), not knowing that God had a different story for my life.

How would you describe your tanure at the Ministry of ICT?

My tenure at the Ministry of ICT was a valuable and enriching experience. During my time there, I had the opportunity to contribute to various initiatives aimed at advancing technology infrastructure and digital services for the country through collaborative efforts. I also participated in projects that focused on enhancing ICT frameworks and fostering partnerships with both the public and private sectors in Namibia.

You were the responsible for infrastructure planning in the Ministry, what is your opinion about IT infrastructure in our country?

In my own opinion, if one has to look at where we were 10 years ago and where we are now, Namibia has made strides in improving connectivity overall even though there continues to be a bit of a challenge in the remote areas. While bridging this digital divide is often a key goal for ICT infrastructure planning, our Namibian government has shown massive interest in promoting ICT development through Policies and programs aimed at digital inclusion, e-government services, and technology education which are important indicators of a country’s commitment to ICT infrastructure improvement. Also, while technology adoption is on the increase, ensuring data security and privacy becomes paramount and it is because of that that our government is putting in place adequate measures to protect users personal and sensitive information, more so in the evolving E-commerce industry in Namibia. One of the milestones is the promulgated Electronic Transactions Act No. 4 of 2019.

What exactly did your job as a Policy Analyst entail?

My job as a Policy Analyst then involved an overall range of responsibilities related to analyzing, formulating, and evaluating policies that pertain to information and communication technology (ICT) within the country essential for guiding the development and implementation of effective ICT policies that align with the government’s National Development goals and objectives.

You were the Chairperson of the Industry Skills Committee Skills of the Namibia Training Authority responsible for the development of Unit Standards and Qualifications for the ICT sector in Namibia. what did that entail?

My role as Chairperson of the Post and Telecommunications Skills Industry Committee which is a team appointed in accordance with the Vocational Education and Training Act No. 1 of 2008, and established by the NTA Board of Directors in terms of Section 15 (1) (c), my overall role was to oversee and provide strategic leadership guidance to my team pertaining to Planning and the development of Namibia’s National vocational training Unit Standards for the ICT sector, overseeing the development of Sector Skills Plans (SSPs) and recommending priority areas in the Sector to NTA’s Board of Director, as well as planning strategies for the NTA to improve the quality and effectiveness of vocational training delivery in the ICT sector, I was also responsible for ensuring that Work Integrated learning/apprenticeship and internship for graduates is prioritized. During my tenure, my team and I successfully developed the following qualifications which got approved and registered on the National Qualification Framework by
the Namibia Qualification Authority (NQA):

Information Communication Technology Level 1 – Registered on the NQF

Information Communication Technology Level2 – Level 5 (ICT) (Networking, Telecommunication and wireless Technology, Web development, Broadcasting, computer system support and ICT Technicians registered on NQF

Postal Services Level 1 – Level 2 registered on NQF

You currently serve as a Board member of the Millennium Vocational Digital Training Institute (MVDTI)

Being a Board member of the Millenium Vocational digital Training Institute, my roles and responsibilities are related to Governance and Strategy, risk management, and oversight on the institute’s overall performance, as well as appraising and approvals of major vocational initiatives and projects of the institute.

Can you briefly tell us what is the role of CRAN?

As a regulatory body responsible for overseeing and regulating the ICT sector in Namibia, its role encompasses a range of responsibilities to ensure the effective functioning, development, and fairness of the ICT industry. CRAN was established in terms of the Communications Act No. 8 of 2009 on 18 May 2011 with the mandate to regulate telecommunications services and networks, broadcasting services, postal services, and the use and allocation of radio spectrum.

And what exactly is your position in CRAN?

Manager: Postal and E-commerce falling under Engineering and Technical Services.

How large is the Postal and E-commerce department?

The Postal and E-commerce department is a growing department with the current organizational structure allowing for maximum 3 employees.

When one hears about the postal department it sounds like something outdated. Is it correct to assume that the days of the post offices are numbered?

While it’s true that the role of traditional post offices has evolved with the rise of digital communication and technology, it’s not entirely accurate to assume that the days of the post offices are numbered. In as much as the post has faced significant changes and challenges due to advancements in digital communication, it still serve essential functions and have adapted to remain relevant in the modern era by serving important functions in various aspects of communication, logistics, and community services through the diversification of products and services such as financial inclusion (banking), E-commerce and many more and that is why regulatory frameworks on E-commerce are required for Advanced Electronic Data protection, the integrity on privacy and security, and Quality of Service. So, while the traditional image of the Post may have changed, their relevance and significance persist in the modern world. The Post Office is moving towards becoming an integrated hub of different services.

What exactly is the Pan African Postal Union (PAPU)?

The Pan African Postal Union (PAPU) which Namibia is a member of is a specialized institution of the African Union that aims to promote and coordinate postal services and cooperation among its member countries in Africa. It serves as a platform for collaboration, information exchange, and capacity-building in the postal sector across the African continent. The Union works to support the growth, modernization, and development of postal services in its member countries.

What is your role as a PAPU representative?

Well, in 2021, Namibia was elected by Africa to serve on the Council of Administration of the Union to represent the SADC region and at Namibia at large. Via the Government of the Republic of Namibia (The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation) I’m humbled to have been endorsed as the candidate to represent Namibia on the Council of Administration for the period 2021 to 2025. Despite the overall ad high level oversight function on administration and management of the Union, my role as an industry expert on the Council is to also ensure that Namibia’s voice and call for change and development of the sector is heard through discussions on national proposal initiatives which is the fundamental aspect of the collaborative decision-making process of the Union.

It appears that there is strong female leadership in CRAN in the sense that many departments are headed by women, how does your role in CRAN keep up with the fast-paced development of ICT?

Generally, an organizational culture that values diversity, promotes work-life balance, and supports professional growth as well as attracts and retains talented women, leading to their increased representation in leadership and that is why a lot of women are motivated to take up leadership positions because of inclusivity. In my opinion CRAN has a very supportive and inclusive organizational culture which encourages both women and men to thrive and progress in their careers, including moving into leadership positions that is why a lot of talented women are motivated to take on leadership positions in CRAN. However, remember that regardless of gender, effective leadership and adaptation in a fast-paced technological environment requires a combination of expertise, continuous learning, collaboration, and a forward-looking mindset.

How does your orle in CRAN keep up with the fast-paced development of ICT?

To be quite honest with you, it’ll always be a learning process for me, especially with the given advent of digitalization and evolution to new technologies. I stay update with the latest trends, technologies, and regulations in ICT globally and regionally, as well as engage in ongoing learning through courses, workshops, webinars, and industry conferences. Well, in the department there’s an initiative called “ the sunspot session” where we meet once a month to share what we have read and learn on in terms of different ICT topics, challenges, opportunities and what we think can be done to address some of those challenges. Iv also built a very strong network within the industry by connecting with peers, experts, and professionals globally and regionally in SADC where I draw valuable insights from and opportunities to learn from.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

Five years from now, I envision myself playing a pivotal role at the intersection of the postal and E-commerce sectors. With the rapid advancements in technology and the changing landscape of commerce, I am excited about the forthcoming opportunities to contribute and lead in this dynamic environment.

How does Emilia Relax?

I actually find reading a book, magazine, or online articles to be a very calming and intellectually stimulating way to relax and that’s what I do most. I also love exercising at the gym to help relief fatigue.

Related Posts