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

Ericsson’s Connect to Learn wins Total Telecom 2015 Africa award

Ericsson has been recognized with a 2015 Africa Award for “Social Contribution” for its Connect To Learn initiative. Read More

Airtel supports 41 schools in the LEAP Hubs programme

Bharti Airtel has partnered with Chandaria Foundation and the Global Peace Foundation to support 41 schools in Kenya in the LEAP Hubs entrepreneurship program through the provision of free internet connection.   Read More

School calls for solar power for computer lab

The Principal of the Girls Senior High School at Agege, Lagos, has appealed to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to explore the provision of alternative source of energy, especially solar, to power the computer laboratory the regulator just donated to the school. Read More

Airtel connects Bungoma Schools to the Internet for free

Airtel Kenya has connected Natombo CBM Primary and Secondary Schools in Kabuchai, Bungoma County to the Internet for free. Read More

Boost investment in Africa’s energy for a triple win, Annan report urges

African governments, investors, and international financial institutions must significantly scale up investment in energy to unlock Africa’s potential as a global low-carbon superpower, says a new report from Kofi Annan’s Africa Progress Panel. Read More

Airtel connects seven more schools for free

Airtel this week connected seven schools in Mombasa and Central regions as part of its efforts to support Kenya’s education system through its ambitious and unique Internet for Schools project.      Read More

MTN Ghana launches Y’ello Care challenge to educate female porters in Ghana

Ghana’s leading network operator, MTN, has officially launched its 21 Days Y’ello Care Challenge in Accra under the theme Investing in Education for All.  Read More

MTN SA Foundation injects R8m in a 21-day campaign

MTN SA Foundation has injected an R8 million into the 21 Days of Y’ello Care campaign to capitalise on the partnership with the MTNers in the 2015 investments in education.  Read More

Schneider Electric solar systems power new SA game lodge construction

AdSolar EPC chose photovoltaic (PV) innovation by the specialist in energy management, Schneider Electric, to power the creation of a new 22-room Rhino Ridge luxury game lodge bordering the Hluhluwe Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal.  Read More

MTN employees rally to bring digitisation of learning and teaching to communities

MTN Group today announced the start of its annual staff volunteer programme, 21 Days of Y’ello Care, which the company says will benefit thousands of learners and teachers from disadvantaged schools and communities across its footprint. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

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

FEATURED STORY

IHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacityIHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacity

Mohammed Darwish, managing director of IHS Towers, says the firm will soon inject another $500million into the business after raising some $2.5billion to finance expansion drives. Darwish spoke with biztecafrica.com in Lagos.

IN DEPTH

As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?As curtain falls on MDGs, what next?

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.