Thursday, October 1, 2020

Experts bemoans Botswana’s untapped opportunities in digital space

BY CEDRIC SWANKA

Local industry experts have pointed out the need to invest in information communication technologies (ICT) as vital aspect in enabling Botswana to have a strategic advantage on digitalisation and innovation.

The experts shared views at the new Botswana Telecommunications limited, satellite platform and data centre launch held in Gaborone this past week.

Chief Operations Officer Aldrin Sivako ÔÇô Botswana Telecomunication, said “Digital transformation is a journey that occurs at all levels. Customers do everything over the internet, they make payments, seek assistance, entertainment online. This in turn puts pressure on service providers to ensure customers are able to have access to such services.”

While Business Development Director Shapiro Eran- Spacecom shared that “Digital transformation needs multiple elements for it to happen as the pace of change is ever increasing. This puts pressure on businesses to change faster in order to meet the change and also be responsive to change in customer needs.”

“The younger generation are adopting the change in technologies much faster than the older generation and in turn expect more infrastructure to be in place. Most populations that need access to such ICT technologies are based in rural areas,” he said.

The experts were speaking under the theme is Botswana doing enough to leverage on digitalisation and innovation, during the launch of the new BTCL satellite technology which is said will offer an improved broadband, broadcast and data services. The BTCL satellite technology will cover hostile remote areas with ease, providing high speed Internet even to the most isolated areas of the country.

Director Corporate Communications and Consumer Affairs Aaron Nyelesi ÔÇô Botswana Communications Regulatory (BOCRA) Aaron Nyelesi said “digital transformation enables the use of ICT to deliver enhanced value for the consumer. It gives government the ability to provide everything on “e” that is based on computer technologies.”

“It improves service delivery and Botswana is moving from doing things manual to computer based Botswana is already doing it and BOCRA is a neutral party and facilitating it by licensing the likes of BTCL to provide everything they feel is necessary to the market,” he said.

Director ICT consultancy Abdul Ally ÔÇô Huawei said “investment in digital transformations not only drives the large companies but also enables growing or small companies to be on the same level playing field. It helps to enable emerging markets, economies to grow.”

For his part Chief Commercial Officer Edward Wicks – BTC said “investments in digital transformations enable any individual to develop any software, applications to name a few and also enable people to run a business, connect with clients from any part of the world.”

Expressing her delight and reiterating BTC commitment to improving services of its clients, BTC board Chairperson Lorato Boakgomo-Ntakhwana said “As BTC we are committed to delivering on information communication technologies both small and large. As BTC we ensure customers get best digital technologies. Digital transformation is instrumental in development of the economy and infrastructure.

Digital transformation comes at a cost and the nation must leverage on BTC technologies for economy and country growth.”

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