Botswana’s information technology and communication (ICT) sector may be about to receive a boost, after news that the country’s government has decided to direct more projects towards locally owned ICT businesses.
According to IT Web Africa, the government of Botswana is putting together a number of initiatives to support the country's ICT industry, not least in order to help keep ICT companies afloat after the difficulties of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Home-grown ICT has not been a big success story in Botswana of late. The telecommunications sector in particular is growing at a slower pace than projected, with only nine entrants during the 2020/21 period.
Thus, the official government line is that more ICT projects will be given to citizen-owned companies and that ICT budgets allocated for the current fiscal year should be utilised ‘expeditiously’ to stimulate opportunities for contractors.
This focus on local ICT is not a new concern. Minister of transport and communications Thulagano Segokgo was quoted at a recent virtual cyber security symposium saying that it is imperative for Botswana to build a local cyber security culture that promotes the use of ICT.
There’s no doubting the importance of ICT in an increasingly networked world. This, government suggests, underlines the need to transform Botswana’s local economy into a knowledge-based digital economy.