More Africa NewsBotswana’s govt ups the digital stakes

May 23, 2022by myles0

Botswana’s government has announced the imminent introduction of several measures to help the country extend connectivity reach and achieve digital equity.

The country’s Minister of Communications, Knowledge and Technology, Thulagano Segokgo said the government intends to increase geographical coverage of mobile signals, as well as levels of penetration, to extend the reach of fixed services to rural and previously under-services areas.

The Minister added that his Ministry will evaluate various ISPs and MNOs to “consider favourable packages accessible to consumers” and said, “We will also strive to look at other policy measures we can adopt to reduce the input costs for operators and in turn reduce tariffs.”

Government’s latest reference to connectivit1y measures has emerged amid the ongoing roll out of an official rural connectivity programme to equip 500 villages with digital infrastructure which will culminate in services availed at kgotla (customary court), clinics, schools and remote areas.

The project is expected to transform the public sector to efficiently provide services to citizens and businesses, reform the education system with a focus on building the human capital towards a knowledge-based economy.

“Connectivity, like access to water, is simply a human right,” said the Minister, adding that ongoing connectivity efforts are supported by the development of government online services, some of which are scheduled to be officially announced in June.

“Such efforts and commitment will ensure that our citizens have access to government services around the clock, everywhere and anywhere. This will bring convenience to elders and eliminate unnecessary visits to government offices and also spending several hours in queues,” the Minister added.

This has been welcomed across many connectivity target markets, not least the elderly in Botswana.

Tsumake Tsumake, Secretary General of the Botswana Civil Service Pensioners Association (BCSPA) commented, “Some considerations should be made for those that have reached 60 to qualify for a discount on communication tariffs, it may not necessarily be a law but something that companies can ponder over.”

Source: IT Web Africa

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