The Ministry of Communications Science and Technology is in the process of finalising an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy. According to Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Maitlamo, as the ICT policy is known, is intended to create opportunities for accelerated development, create wealth and achieve better socio-economic well being for Batswana through effective utilisation of ICTs.
The ministry is also considering investment in the East African Sub-marine System (EASSy). This system will provide adequate fibre ÔÇôoptic broadband connectivity and capacity to Botswana which will enhance Botswana’s ambition of being an ICT hub, said Venson-Moitoi.
“Technological advancements have made it inappropriate to talk of basic voice telephony services only without reference to a variety of value-added data services available in today’s digital networks. It was in view of these advancements that we made a decision to further liberalise the telecommunications market in a bid to enhance competition in the sector. We believe that further liberalisation will allow and encourage private sector participation in a range of competitive value-added services especially in data, internet and mobile communications,” she said.
She was speaking at the BTA 10th anniversary which coincided with the retirement party of the regulator’s founding CEO.
The Minister also said BTA is finalising a licensing framework designed for a more liberalised and converged telecommunications market which entails service neutral licences.
”We are convinced that it is in the interest of all business partners to have in place an unambiguous licensing framework that establishes clear and verifiable obligations that are supported by robust enforcement mechanisms, which could facilitate sustainable competition. BTA should be ready to start issuing the new licences by the beginning of the next financial year,” she said