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Uniting Angola through technology

Interview - March 2, 2012
Augusto Baltazar de Almeida, General Director of INATEL, is the man behind the unification of Angola´s information and communication technology systems. He describes to Globus Vision his task of creating a secure, integrated network within Angola, to provide ICT services for all government departments

What are INATEL’s objectives?

Our objective is to become the first point of contact for all departments belonging to the Government of Angola. We want to provide services of quality and efficiency, not only in Luanda but also in Ministries, Provincial Governments, Municipalities and villages. We want to provide communication with all State institutions through the internet.

Could you introduce us to INATEL, its projects and its evolution?

It was created in 2001, to help in the management of the State, and help in its administration all the way out to the provinces. Sometimes INATEL is the only organ which reaches a village, and we provide additional services such as emergency help when there are floods, for example. INATEL is the first institution to be called by villagers where there are no other public services available.

We represent the German community which is a promoter of scientific development and pioneers in technology… How do you think Angola would benefit from a partnership with Germany?

Germany has many options to invest in Angola. Germany has a lot of knowledge in the area of telecommunications and information services, and could establish partnerships with Angolan companies. Angola needs Germany´s know-how to develop and become a stronger country.
How is INATEL and the telecommunications sector going to help in the reconstruction of Angola?

In relation to ICT, our objective is to have a secure, integrated network within Angola to provide information technology services for all government departments. We want to have mechanisms working together, and to have communication services which help citizens who are the direct beneficiaries of INATEL’s program.

So in future we want to provide the Government with a communication network which aids the unification of Angola. This will help the State, the administrative departments and in the end, the people – while providing services with quality.
Germany is a promoter of green energy and sustainability, how does INATEL work with its natural resources?

In terms of the energy that INATEL uses in its services, we place a lot of emphasis on using solar energy. Of course, in the regions where there are only dams or fossil fuel energies we have to work with those services provided by generators. Nevertheless in most regions we work with solar energy which, while being more expensive at first, brings benefits in the long run. Solar panels do not need energy coming from an electrical generator, so in the end it is much better for everyone.

How does INATEL work in the professional capacitating of its workers?

In order to have the quality of services that we are proud to say we give, one of the most important investments INATEL does is in its Human Resources. To create trust in our services we need good managers and engineers. We need a quality of professionals that sadly is not generally available in Angola. Here I call for the co-operation of the German community which would be very welcome in the capacitating of Angola’s workers. We do not need massive capacitating programs for everyone, but specific ones directed specifically for our workers specializing in telecommunications.

What message would you send to the German community?

We need Germany to help us in the training of our professionals. They say a picture is worth a thousand words: the Chancellor’s visit to Angola was of extraordinary value to our country.