Botswana’s global ICT tally gets better

DEVELOPMENT

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
Botswana’s global ICT tally gets better

By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana

Botswana’s goal of getting its citizens ICT-wise by 2016 might be realised, thanks to efforts by Botswana ICT stakeholders. Earlier reports of sparse ICT penetration, especially in the remote areas, can no longer reign supreme as ICT penetration improves.

A recent World Economic Forum report on the global state of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has also added a spring to the efforts by Botswana to be tech-smart. The report ranked Botswana sixth in Africa, up from tenth in the 2011 edition of the report.

The World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Information Technology Report (GITR) is among the most respected research periodicals on the level of ICT readiness worldwide. The 2012 edition of the report has grown to 142 countries from 138 last year, which in total accounts for 98 percent of the world's Gross Domestic Product.

This year’s report says Botswana leapfrogged Senegal, Morocco, Namibia, Kenya and Gambia in terms of ICT competitiveness, putting it within reach of the elite top five in Africa. Of late, Tunisia has been topping the continent, followed by Mauritius and South Africa, while the Cape Verde and Rwanda have also shot into the top five this year, the former coming from position nine last year and the latter making its debut in the report.

The decade-old report measures the degree to which economies leverage ICT to enhance competitiveness by assessing ten pillars ranging from policy, regulations, infrastructure, affordability, skills, usage and impact.

In this year's GITR, Botswana scored highest for its political and regulatory environment, where it was ranked 40th in the world of the 142 countries assessed. The country also received top marks for its business and innovation environment, ranking 79th in the world.

Botswana is powering ahead with its e-government strategy which will ultimately result in the provision of most government services online, enhancing efficiency, lowering costs and boosting access. Several pieces of legislation ushering in the first online services are due in the July session of Parliament, the trade and industry ministry explained to the press.

The report says Botswana outscored regional powerhouse, South Africa in terms of ICT skills, government usage of ICT and the social impact of information technology.  However, South Africa fared better in its political and regulatory environment, usage by business, business and innovation environment as well as individual usage.

South Africa also has a higher ranking for its ICT infrastructure and the economic impact of information technology, while also being slightly cheaper than Botswana in its service and product offerings, the report noted.

Botswana's ranking this year were helped by government's approximately USD10 million investment in the East Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy) which is providing local data users with one of the world's fastest speeds at lower costs as was reported by Biztechafrica earlier this year.

Almost USD35.7 million has been invested into the development of the West African Cable System (WACS), a submarine fibre optic cable that will this year bring even faster internet connectivity than the EASSy link.

However, the GITR 2012 shows that Botswana needs to improve in the area of individual usage of ICT, the affordability of information technology as well as ensuring that it has an economic impact.  In addition to government initiatives to drive ICT penetration and uptake, local enterprises are also lining up a host of ICT exhibitions and trade fairs in Botswana. Another boost for local ICT development was the entry of the Microsoft Innovation Center,  which is helping change Botswana's ICT landscape.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE DEVELOPMENT NEWS

Tigo transforms Street Library into Ghana’s first Digital Mobile Library

Tigo Ghana has taken a giant step towards digital inclusion for children in rural Ghana by outdooring its new Mobile Digital Library.   Read More

Botswana Academy of Sciences in formative stages

Stakeholders in Botswana's ciences fraternity are mooting the formation of an institution that would represent their cause.  Read More

New youth ICT programme from BITRI

The Botswana government, through its relevant institutions, has come up with a new youth associate ICT programme.   Read More

Tigo change leader Hayford Siaw selected as 2015 Ford Fellow

Tigo’s 2012 Change Leader Hayford Siaw has been selected to participate in this year’s Ford Fellowship programme in New York. Read More

Visa, Mastercard in strategic partnerships with AFI for financial inclusion

The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) has signed strategic partnerships with Visa Inc. and MasterCard, to enable close collaboration and knowledge exchange within the framework of AFI’s Public-Private Dialogue Platform (PPD).  Read More

Schneider Electric sponsored runner wins 2015 Paris Marathon

Ethiopian runner, Meseret Mengistu (26), has won the prestigious 2015 Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris women’s race in 2:23:24.  Read More

M-PESA foundation opens new academy

The M-PESA Foundation has announced that it is constructing a state of the art, mixed boarding high school that will seek to provide a first class, unique education to gifted but economically disadvantaged children from all counties of Kenya. Read More

Ngombe PTA school goes paperless with computer library

Ngombe PTA School has gone paperless by converting its library into a modern computer laboratory which will improve access to modern technology.  Read More

Airtel supports Mathare slum youth

Airtel is ensuring that over 800 school children get hot meals every day and that 32 teachers receive their monthly salaries. Read More

ENhANCE project improves ICT education in East Africa

Aalto University has launched the ENhANCE project, which has seen them team up with institutions in Ethiopia and Tanzania to provide the technical and educational support that can help address the challenges faced by these countries. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

e-commerce space untapped, says phonekings heade-commerce space untapped, says phonekings head

E-commerce is the future, says the head of a new online electronics mall launched in Nigeria. Tayo Olusanya spoke to Kokumo Goodie in Lagos.

IN DEPTH

Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College

The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India.