IT entities among best performing Botswana organisations
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
Botswana’s recent budget speech has unveiled a new breed of best performing organisations, among them local ICT establishments. Speaking during the budget presentation, Finance and Development Minister Kenneth Matambo said these organisations performed above expectations.
“With respect to overall performance, the country's parastatal organisations continued to display uneven performance during the year; with some performing satisfactorily, while others recorded operational losses. Parastatals which performed satisfactorily included: the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL); National Development Bank (NDB); Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA); Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC); and the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC).
Matambo revealed that the BTCL recorded a net profit of P273.6 million in 2013, compared to a net profit of P236.9 million in 2012, due to growth in revenue as a result of increased customer base, especially in the mobile business sector.”
The use of technology by some local banks also gave them an edge over their competition the minister revealed.
“NDB registered a net profit of P45.8 million in 2013, compared to P40.6 million in 2012, due to initiatives such as Ntlhatlosa kwa Morakeng, which continue to attract customers. With continued demand for services due to the significant growth in the use of the mobile internet technology, particularly smart phones, BOCRA recorded a net profit of P40.6 million in 2013, compared to P31.2 million in 2012.
With regard to privatisation, the BTCL privatization process is at an advanced stage, with expected Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the first half of 2015. The IPO process will ensure that BTCL shares are offered to citizens, which should empower them through the dividend payments, as they become part owners of an important national asset.
Matambo said efforts by the government to allow the proliferation of technology has borne fruits. Matambo singled out the Botswana innovation hub as the ringleader in this regard. “The Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH), for its part, continues to foster technology transfer and innovation. To this end, BIH has set up a national technology transfer office to provide local entrepreneurs and innovators with the required tools to learn the latest technology in order to absorb and adopt it in their businesses. In addition, an Innovation Fund is being established to support emerging innovators, and thus facilitate BIH's mandate of promoting innovation and technology in the country.”
The use of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) is an important tool for efficient delivery of public services to Batswana. To this end, Government has adopted the e-Government programme in order to enhance innovation in the public sector. The programme includes: application and issuance of various Government permits, licenses and certificates; providing information on legislative/administrative notices; as well as payment services such as tax refunds.