As reflected in the ETSIP priorities framework, “the library and information service sector has been globally recognized as a critically important support structure for education, research, knowledge creation, public administration, and economic development in knowledge based economies.”3 Namibia has a network of 57 community libraries and 3 regional libraries (with accompanying mobile units), which serves as an important resource for low-income and marginalized community members who are upgrading their qualifications by distance study, students from upper-primary to tertiary levels, current workers and unemployed who have specific information and learning resource needs, entrepreneurs, and researchers. As such, the Regional Study and Resource Centres (RSRCs) are designed to redress inequalities in access to knowledge and learning resources, and thus contribute to building human capital in disadvantaged regions.
It being the goal of GRN to expand through ETSIP information resources and availability to rural and underserved communities, MCA Namibia will construct 3 RSRCs in Oshakati for the Oshana region, in Helao Nafidi for the Ohangwena region and in Gobabis for the Omaheke region. These centres are ETSIP Phase One (2006-2011 extended to 2013) priorities.
The anticipated level of direct beneficiaries in the towns affected is approximately 100 000 (Oshakati: 51315, (Helao Nafidi: 32061 and Gobabis: 13 174) including 50% adult population, NAMCOL learners, distance students, and learners of all levels; with an overall regional impacts of about 240 000. MCA-Namibia will further fund the development and delivery of an income generation training programme at the RSRCs and to remote areas via mobile units.