Thursday, May 23, 2024

BTC to spend P500m in communication infrastructure development

The Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) intends to spend over P500 million in the development of communication infrastructure during the 2013/14 financial year as it strives to develop the local economy.

The revelation was made by the corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Taylor, when officiating at the 19th edition of the northern BOCCIM Trade Fair in Francistown.

“Our CAPEX for the financial year 2012/13 stood at P300 million. During the year 2013/14, we intend to spend nearly P530 million to further develop the nation’s communication infrastructure,” said Taylor, adding that it should be good news to the nation as well as local suppliers who will benefit immensely from procurement of the such infrastructure.

He observed that many sectors of the economy relied on telecommunication services for their business operations.

Sectors set to benefit from enhanced communication infrastructure developments include financial and mining sectors. “The continued growth of the financial sector more especially banks is underpinned by robust mobile, broadband and voice telecommunication services that are available country wide,” said Taylor.

He added that the mining sector continued to utilise their services to grow their businesses and thereby contribute positively to the growth of the economy.

“Our capabilities have enabled growth not only to large multinational corporates, but to citizen owned companies which play key roles in the country,” said the BTC chief who stole the limelight at the fair to outline his corporation’s operation, including the P100 million dividend it paid to government in the past two years.

Taylor said BTC in conjunction with government have set up 148 telecentres as part of the Nteletsa Rural Infrastructure development Project. The centres, know an as Kitso Centres, are equipped with photocopiers, printers, faxes and payphones.

The telecentres provide data and voice services to the village communities in the form of internet access, payphones, charging of mobile phones, selling of and beMOBILE sim cards.

“To further enable the growth and support local entrepreneurs who run the Kitsong centres, BTC has set up a dedicated call centre to assist with resolution of faults and enquiries,” said Taylor who added that infrastructure is meaningless “if not used to make a difference in ordinary lives”.

The BTC boss explained further that ICT is critical for the economic survival of Botswana and the country’s ability to be competitive. “We cannot remain isolated as the world fast tracks toward the digital age,” warned the BTC chief.

He also took time to elaborate on the corporate social responsibility programmes that his corporation has undertaken including the P70 000 it has contributed to this year’s northern BOCCIM fair.


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