Saturday, January 22, 2022

BoFiNet to unlock Botswana’s ICT potential ÔÇô CEO

Botswana Fibre Networks Limited (BoFiNet) has begun operations after having been incorporated in December last year as wholesale provider of national and international telecommunication infrastructure.

The organisation is a wholesale provider of telecommunications and distributes to retail telecommunication companies already in existence in Botswana such as BTC, Mascom and Orange, amongst others, and does not sell directly to end users.

BoFiNet was established in 2012 following government separation of the incumbent operator, BTC, into two separate organisations: BoFiNet, and BTC Ltd.

Speaking at the official launch of the organisation, BoFiNet Founding Chief Executive Officer, Mabua Mabua, said that the organisation is in a mission to unlock the potential that ICT holds for the country.

He also pointed out that their brand is not only reflection of the mission, but a reflection of the nation’s enduring belief in hoping and striving for prosperity.

“The symbolism of our brand is engraved in both our hopes, aspirations and the constant reality of our continued search for a better Botswana,” said Mabua.

He explained that as a new entrant in the telecommunications market , in choosing the brand image as the defining feature of the entry and continued presence in the ICT sector; Peolwane (the swallow) they bring not only a message of hope but invoke belief in a better tomorrow.

“Peolwane has long been regarded as a positive and good omen and continues to be held in this regard particularly in Botswana when they appear ahead of the rains. They are regarded as a positive sign of nature that predicts good and peaceful rains,” he said.

He added that BOFINET speaks the simple language of good service, trust, loyalty, openness, and botho. Mabua stated that they look to move Batswana forward into a new era of connectivity.

Minister of Transport and Communications Nonofo Molefhi explained that the task was preceded by the separation and transfer of the backbone infrastructure assets and services. He added international connectivity assets and services from Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) got separated to an infrastructure company, a new Special Purpose Vehicle focusing only on the provision of wholesale services.

“BoFiNet is a precursor to the privatisation of BTC Limited. The privatisation exercise aims at selling up to 49 percent of the BTC Limited shares to Botswana Citizens through an Initial Public Offering listing at the Botswana Stock Market. Part of the shares will be reserved for BTC Limited employees as well,” said Molefhi.

He pointed out that as a Ministry seeking to optimise efficient use of resources they believed that there was more value to be rendered from BTC Limited’s fibre optic network capacity and the government-owned international connectivity infrastructure.

“The key objective behind the separation of BTC aimed at using the existing infrastructure as efficiently and effectively as possible,” he said.

Molefhi added that they aimed to solve the apparent market failures, as highlighted by the gap in broadband connectivity that is supposed to enable all other sectors in the economy.

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