Singaporeans seek business ties in Botswana ICT sector
A Singaporean business delegation has visited Botswana to pursue possible partnerships with local Information Communication Technology (ICT) companies. The Singaporean delegation, comprising of representatives of nine ICT companies presented various solutions for the private and public sector at a four day conference facilitated by the country’s government agency at Lansmore Hotel.
“International Enterprise Singapore is a government agency whose main task is to drive Singapore’s external economy by helping Singaporean companies do business overseas. We do this by forming partnerships with countries where Singaporean companies go to do business in order to keep the costs low and create jobs. We are hoping that the nine companies all of which have unique different solutions they have been implementing in Singapore and other countries will find partners and opportunities within Botswana’s ICT sector,” said Daniel Seah, the Centre Director for IE Overseas’ Johannesburg office.
Seah also said unlike Botswana, many African countries were not concerned about ranking in terms of competitiveness.
“Botswana is one of the countries in Africa that has an ICT master plan and has a strong desire to implement e-Governance in their country. This is one of the reasons why we chose the country,” he said.
Also making a presentation on e-Governance, Ashok Kumar of the Singapore e-Government Learning Centre (e-GL) shared his country’s experience during its journey to e-Governance.
“E-Governance is important as it helps the country to become more competitive and an easier place to do business. Our focus is capacity building, sharing lessons, transferring knowledge and skills to both the government and industry so that the ICT capacity increases over time. One of the main drivers in implementing an efficient e-Governance system is having really strong visionary leaders who look into the future and put in place proper systems and policies,” said Kumar.
He also added that in the process of implementing an efficient e-Governance system there are bound to challenges like human resistance.
“Singapore has had a fair share of resistance. The key thing was being able to communicate to our stakeholders the value proposition of our initiative and how it improves the government,” he said.
Meanwhile the Head of Advocacy for e-Governance in the Office of the President, Steady Mako, said that attempts to implement an effective e-Governance system were because efforts were fragmented between ministries.
“Our needs are varied, which includes capacity building and infrastructural development. The challenge that we have been having is that efforts from various government ministries have been fragmented that is why the e-Governance department has been moved from where it traditionally was in the Ministry of Transport and Communications to the Office of the President so as to co-ordinate the government’s efforts,” said Mako.
The event was attended by participants from the Office of the President, the Botswana Confederation of Commerce Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM), Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) and the local business community.