ICT Sector Grows At Snail Pace in Botswana


Driven mainly by a conducive environment and infrastructure set up by government, Botswana's Information, Technology and Communications (ICT) sector continues to develop although at a slower pace than expected, an economist said last week.

Dr Phumzile Thobokwe of the Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC) told an ICT seminar in Gaborone that the private sector is not doing enough to help the country to develop into a knowledge-based society with an industry that thrives on ICT advancement.

Presenting a paper on the Global Information Technology (GIT) report, Thobokwe said that this year, Botswana has moved one place up to position 77 out of 134 countries on Networked Readiness Index.

She said that although Botswana had a slight improvement, there is still a long way to go to fully use ICT as a catalyst to organisational transformation and change. She said that government has provided an enabling environment for the growth of the ICT sector through various investments in infrastructure as well as legislative and regulatory frameworks.

Recently, government has invested a lot of funds into fibre networks and high capacity telecommunications systems. The fibre optic network is now complete and operational. The government has invested in international connectivity through shareholdings in undersea cables, which should increase competition and reduce telecommunications costs.

The GIT report says that Botswana fared badly in components like business readiness in which it is ranked 96 out of 134 and government readines where it is ranked 70th.

Under the ICT usage component, Botswana business usage is 93rd while in individual usage it is ranked 89th.