Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe

The Botswana Government views technology as an important tool through which sustainable socio-economic development can be effected, the Vice President, Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe, says.

Dr Kedikilwe was speaking on his return from Tanzania, where he attended the Smart Partnerships International Dialogue.  Leaders at the meeting discussed ways through which African states could leverage on technology to transform the continent’s socio-economic lives.

The Vice President said strides had been made to harness all available opportunities offered by modern technology to improve the nation economically and socially.

He said government was committed to empowering citizens with technological skills on the agriculture sector, adding that adopting scientific methods of farming would help the country produce more food resources.  Dr Kedikilwe said government was promoting the use of modern farming methods such as raw planting, application of fertilisers and the use of irrigation which would result in better yield.  

“In our new ISPAAD programme, we educate people about new methods of farming such as the use of raw planting. Some of these things do not require expensive equipment, but they are effective for production of more yield,”  he said.

The Vice President said government was committed to spreading electricity and roads infrastructure around the country because of their importance in the use of technology. Dr Kedikilwe said though electricity coverage had not reached all parts of the country, he believed government had done good work in ensuring that its provision reached most parts of the country.

He added that by building the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) in Palapye and promoting the teaching of subjects such as Design and Technology, government had shown its seriousness in promoting the use of technology.

Another important factor, he said, was the development of the Innovation Hub and also stressed the need for technology to reach out to all areas of the country. There must be a regional approach in the rolling out of technology across the country, he added.

The Smart Partnerships Dialogue, which was established by Commonwealth heads of state in 1995, shared knowledge and skills on how technology could be used to influence development in different countries. Botswana became the first African country to host it in Kasane in 1997.

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