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Botswana urges collaboration with private sector to cement 4IR strategy

Botswana’s private sector has been urged to intensify its interest in- and use of ICT as the country looks to equal and even surpass international counterparts in the use of 4IR technologies, including RPA, virtual and augmented reality, as well as new energy solutions.

Speaking at the Botswana Telecommunications (BTC) Digital Shift Enterprise Summit, the Minister of Communications, Knowledge and Technology, Thulagano Segokgo said, “Such growth and evolution are what we aim to see our country leaning towards.”

He implored industry players to collaborate in order to develop solutions to problems and introduce new strategies, and added that the current administration is looking forward to partnering with different local and international industry players to come up with solutions that can help develop a Smart Botswana.

According to Segokgo if the country established a centralised skills pool, it could easily create an e-government environment. “Our door is open… remember collaboration is one of the key components that lead to digital transformation. In this day and age, we must develop an e-government because it promotes citizens' participation in public administration, enhances awareness of citizens toward government programs, improves the transparency of public decisions, and reduces corruption.”

Segokgo said the government is undertaking stringent efforts to accommodate SMMEs and through wholesale provider of national and international telecommunication infrastructure Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFiNet) have come up with a solution in the form of Fibre Lite specifically for this market segment.

“SMMEs contribute to economic development in various ways: by creating employment for the rural and urban growing labour force, providing desirable sustainability and innovation in the economy as a whole,” said Segokgo.

He added that aside from enterprise solutions, the government is working on pricing policy to address the issue of high prices. “The issue of the pricing is handled by one of our parastatals Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) which has over the years worked on ensuring that the pricing policy is balanced and fair for everyone. BOCRA will soon announce the new rollout of the price policy.”

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