Kehad Snydewel – Managing Director of Green Enterprise Solutions

By:  Ester Kamati

Kehad Snydewel is the managing director of Green enterprise solutions, a company founded in 2010 which provides information and communication technology (ICT) services to Namibian companies and government institutions. The company is owned and managed by previously disadvantaged Namibians and has the long term objective to sustain a Namibian business which makes positive contributions to all their stakeholders. In this article, he shares his thoughts on the future of technology and innovation in Namibia.

Snydewel believes that “Online services, new smartphone driven applications and online payment solutions are the future” and is keen to appreciate the rise of digitalisation in the country. “We can go kicking or screaming or we can embrace it,” he said, explaining that technological growth is something that cannot be denied or supressed. He described the revolution as a benefit and advised to “as a nation of young people, learn to innovate and develop apps and Tech-solutions ourselves.” He believes that there are many new business sectors to uncover and emphasised that the youth should be “making sure we don’t get left behind”

Snydewel emphasised the entrepreneurial goldmine that comes with technological advancements that is readily available for entrepreneurs to tap into. “Government and business in Namibia can streamline and secure their processes, offer real solutions to their stakeholders that will be less time intensive, no need to stand in lines anymore and generally create a more digitally advanced and enhanced society where data is secure and convenience is the name of the game.”

He applauds Namibia continuously improving its position on the Global ICT ranking index, adding that it is “encouraging and proof of our country’s commitment to becoming a digital and technologically innovative force to {be} reckoned with in Africa.”

“There are companies, academic institutions and individuals who are all working together to not just make Namibia, but the whole of Africa digitally enabled,” he said, adding that it is not solely the government’s burden to invest and collaborate to achieve digital advancement in the country.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution provides the solution to uplift Namibia and Africa as a continent. We can engage and implement best practices and adapt them for our own needs and circumstances. We must engage and implement the best possible solutions, hardware and people to continue to improve our ICT rankings in the coming years.” He believes that the population needs to let technology and innovation work for them in the quest for economic development.

“We must lead from the front in innovation in embracing technology,” he said, noting that some people are still hesitant because of the change that comes with the 4th industrial revolution. “Its human nature to be wary of change, the status quo is safe and secure. However, not developing and not innovating will not keep us safe and secure.”

Speaking on challenges that come with embracing the fourth industrial revolution, he notably mentioned the need for “watertight security” due to the fact that there needs to be trust with embracing ‘financial technology applications, online payments, ordering online” among others, which many people may not have or buy into. “Can we trust that robots will not be hacked by people with dubious intent? Will our car, crammed full of software and Artificial Intelligence (AI) take over our decision making process, or will we remain safely in the driver’s seat?”

He added that Namibians are beginning to truly embrace ICT. “Apart from spending most of our time online on social media, we are now seeing a shift to real world benefits enabled through connectivity.” He emphasised some of the ways in which the future has sneaked up on people through technology through examples such as simply paying for our food, fuel, shopping or services with an app on smartphones “or hailing a cab through a new app like LEFA.” He continued to discuss inventions such as a luggage tag that can track and trace where it is because it can send and receive data; smart locks which mean people no longer have to carry keys, or a smart thermostat which knows and monitors how many people are in a room and can adjust accordingly. “This is where I see the world going and I know Namibia will follow suit.”

Possible set-backs include limited internet connectivity according to him. “‘Smartified’ products that cannot communicate because of connectivity issues become…well, just products”. He believes that internet needs to be “stable, fast and on-demand” in order to fully embrace technology.

“The Financial technology (FinTech) sector is red-hot, with traditional financial institutions increasing their FinTech investments and competing with start-ups to offer financial services products faster and more efficiently,” he said, hinting that it is one of the sectors in which innovations have the greatest benefit for Africa. 

“FinTech start-ups focus on disrupting the already existing banking industry, in Africa, we need build the technical infrastructure and systems from scratch.” Snydewel noted that it would be worth it to make these investments as own skills and know how are developed and “once we have proven technology and stimulated FinTech development we can export our knowledge and sell our apps, just like everyone else does,” which is the way in which he sees Namibia and Africa at large rising.

2020-02-11T09:16:32+00:00 February 11th, 2020|NEWS|