Electricity scarcity hampers ICT roll-out in schools

By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana

The unavailability of electricity in most parts of the country has hampered the effective rollout of ICT initiatives in most parts of the country, the Minister of Education and Skills Development Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi told an Innovation Africa 2013 media briefing.

The Innovation Africa summit is coming to Botswana for the first time after being hosted in three other African countries. The 2013 Innovation summit will be held at the Gaborone International Convention Center GICC from the 15th to the 17th of October.

“Other villages have no electricity so taking a chargeable tool to these people is untenable,” explained the minister after a reporter asked her about any plans to spread the ICT reach throughout Botswana schools.”

Minister Moitoi however said plans were afoot to reconstruct dilapidated classrooms and add laboratories to each school with at least forty terminals for use as IT rooms. “We want to do this all the way from primary school to secondary school.” She said if her ministry should get donors, she would be glad to get as much aid as possible to spread the ICT gospel to the schools in Botswana.

“If we could find a donor like Kenya, we could readily access. I would love to talk to Kenya and see what they have got, for us this is an ongoing project,” said Moitoi.

Innovation Africa 2013 is organised under the patronage of the Botswana Ministry of Education & Skills Development. It continues the highly productive series of The Brains Network meetings-based summits with “unmatched track record in bringing government ministers and officials to join industry leaders in one-to-one meetings.”

According to John Glassey of AfricanBrains, the organisers of the summit, the event continues to grow in strength. “Our last three summits in Amman, Cape Town and Victoria Falls have attracted over 50 ministers and deputies along with over 200 government officials. Innovation Africa 2013 will aim to set a record number of participating ministers for education, higher education, science, and ICT.”

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