Botswana: Govt to Expand Internet Connectivity

Sefhare — Government will, within three years, connect and expand internet across all villages to enable communities to participate in the global economy.

Officially opening the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) in Sefhare on May 17, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi said development of information and communication technology (ICT) was one of government priorities.

He said internet connectivity would enable villagers to participate effectively in the economy. He encouraged Sefhare residents to embrace ICT.

He informed the residents that government intended to split the Ministry of Transport and Communications in order to improve efficiency in the provision of services.

He said a lot of money would be spent to develop the ministry of ICT.

The president underscored the fact that technology could markedly facilitate people to lead better lives saying it was applied in many areas such as social and economic development including but not limited to, improving healthcare, education, finance, agriculture, transportation and a wide range of social services.

Across the world, he said, the most productive sectors of any economy were those embracing ICT for development and affirming need for the country to drive the country's economy to be knowledge based.

In recognition of this fact, he said government had also identified digitilisation of the economy as a means to achieve employment creation.

Dr Masisi said government was committed to development of the national ICT infrastructure to enable and facilitate the provision of online services, applications, and content.

He further said deployment of fibre optic by BoFiNet, had been undertaken at significant cost saying the investment included over 8 000km of fibre cable deployed across Botswana and 152 localities connected to the fibre network, in both urban and rural areas.

"With these developments, Botswana is among the top Southern African countries in deploying advanced technology such as 4G," he said, adding that the country was now preparing for transition to 5G.

In addition, President Masisi acknowledged the role and participation of the private sector as partners in development.

He said the WTISD's success was further facilitated by active participation of the civil society.

He said the annual donations of ICT products and services continued to uplift communities and noted that as part of the collaboration with stakeholders, Mmutle Primary School in Sefhare had been chosen to benefit from the 2019 WTISD flagship project.

The school received 26 computers, Internet improvement and 50 iPads.

WTISD was commemmorated annually with the purpose of raising awareness about t economic benefits that the Internet and other information and communication technologies could bring to societies to improve their livelihood and to bridge the digital divide.

Minister of Transport and Communications, Ms Dorcas Makgato, said the total value of the money, which was spent in her constituency of Sefhare/Ramokganami was P1 million.

She thanked stakeholders for making show that villages in her constituency got connection of internet.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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