Shanapinda calls for ethical web design

By Paulina Ndalikokule

THE National ICT summit brand ambassador Stanley Shanapinda has pleaded with upcoming technopreneurs to consider ethical designs when creating social media platforms to encourage the responsible use of technology applications. He made the remarks yesterday at the end of the 6th three-day ICT summit held in Windhoek under the theme ‘Accelerating Digital Transformation’.

He explained that a technopreneur is an entrepreneur who is technology-savvy, creative, innovative, dynamic, who dares to be different and take the unexplored path and is passionate about their work. In his motivational speech Shanapinda explained that the harm of digital technologies to young people can be reduced if social media transformation is done responsibly and ethically.

“Social media digital transformation must be done responsibly and ethically and not to manipulate people for likes or to promote or sell products or to make money. Think of how that product can rather uplift the individual than making them anxious or depressed.”

He encouraged those suffering from identity problems to quit or reduce social media usage and advised young people not to succumb to the opinion of others. “You can also regulate use of social media by setting standards for yourself. For example, do not use social media before bed because it can increase anxiety and lead to poor sleep and unfollow negative followers. Ask yourself if it is really necessary to check your social media platforms every time you have your phone,” Shanapinda said.

He added that internet addiction can also be seen as an escape from unpleasant thoughts, anxiety and negative emotions. “Minimise content that makes you feel down and focus on those that make you feel better and control your use on social media so you do not become a slave,” he concluded.   

Also speaking at the event was the Deputy ICT Minister Engel Nawatiseb, who was impressed by the participation of the youth in the summit. He encouraged them to learn about and understand the changes that come with digital transformation and the fourth industrial revolution.

“Digital transformation won’t be fruitful if the youth are excluded from such events,’ he said. The deputy minister also announced that the development of a national digital strategy for Namibia has commenced, adding that it would guide the country’s digitalization agenda. “This platform will guide the country digitalisation agenda through discussions,” Nawatiseb said.

The summit was attended by delegates from various institutions within the ICT sector, university students who showcased their products and concepts, as well as school students.