Botswana is at a risk of missing out on the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution, otherwise described as the advent of “cyber-physical systems” involving entirely new capabilities for people and machines, the Member of Parliament for Gaborone Bonnington North ÔÇô Duma Boko has said.
Boko, who is also the leader of opposition in Parliament, was responding to the national budget speech which was presented by the Finance Minister Kenneth Matambo earlier this week.
According to Boko, Botswana is on course to be excluded from the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution because of its education system.
“Our education system has given us a human resource base that is ill equipped to position to claim our share of the benefits of globalization 4.0 as well as underinvestment in connectivity”, Boko said.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is the fourth major industrial era since the initial Industrial Revolution of the 18th century.
It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres, collectively referred to as cyber-physical systems.
According to Boko, Botswana must narrow the gap between the technological potential and the policy agenda required to realize it.
“Your government, Minister, has shown itself to be lacking in both ambition and policy innovation. Consequently, our economy is trapped in low productivity, low competitiveness and low growth and it is failing to meet the needs of its stakeholders”, Boko said.
Boko’s sentiments follows Minister Matambo’s painful admission earlier during the week that Botswana’s economy is expected to expand at a slower pace in 2019 compared with 2018.
Presenting what has been themed as the “transformational budget”, Matambo said that Botswana’s economy projected to slow down, expanding by 4.2 percent in 2019 from 4.5 percent in 2018.