Namibia Governmental Interoperability Framework Nam-X

Region: Southern Africa; Population: 2,6 million; Capital: Windhoek; Year started: 2015

Namibia is a unique country with a remarkably large area and sparse population. Combining that with the government’s strong aspirations and readiness to modernise local e-services, the way was paved for implementing an interoperability and secure data exchange solution – the UXP (Unified eXchange Platform). The overall aim was to improve interoperability and service availability by more profound data exchange and digitalisation of governmental services.

Cybernetica implemented the e-Government interoperability system Nam-X for the Namibian Government in cooperation with e-Governance Academy. The development of the solution started in 2015 and was based on the improved Estonian data interoperability layer, the X-road (the UXP). The project was implemented as an initiative under the leadership of the Office of the Prime Minister of Namibia with six governmental organisations participating in the pilot phase.

The Office of the Prime Minister took an instrumental role in promoting e-governance solutions. The government of Namibia established a clear vision and strategy for e-government and implementation of an interoperability and secure data exchange platform based on Cybernetica’s experience of delivering the X-road in Estonia. Despite of high motivation and a positive mindset, the main issue was fragmentation between different types of information systems and a siloed operation – challenges which can be overcome with the UXP.

The Nam-X project consisted of three phases:

  • site mission – getting introduced with local circumstances and governmental institutions to map and analyse the situation. Suggesting primary activities, which included the list of registries for data exchange requests – population, business, and pension registry. Also, defining the scope and suggestions for the pilot;

  • pilot – workshops and knowledge transfer, describing the technical specifications and architecture. Installation of the pilot environment, which became the main testbed system for carrying out workshops for developers, administrators and other technical positions;

  • implementation – the deployment and implementation of the Nam-X system. Due to local characteristics, the implementation was carried out through a dedicated on-site mission. This ensured the most reliable, high-quality result, culminating with the launch of a technical platform, ready for integration of new e-services.

The cooperation between the governments of Namibia and Estonia dates back to the early 1990s. In fact, Namibia was the first of many to come state-level partners for Cybernetica in Africa. The motivation to modernise governmental systems in African countries deserves to be recognised – in addition to Namibia, we have supported Tunisia and Benin in their endeavours for launching effective e-governance solutions and are consulting several governments in their efforts.