The government is working on splitting the Ministry of Transport and Communications into two different ministries, it has emerged. The decision to split the ministry will bring the total number of envisaged new ministries to two.
Last year President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi was quoted in the Dailynews as saying that government has decided to split the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry into two different ministries.
The President reported reportedly stated that the new Ministry, which would be referred to as the Ministry of Small Business and Enterprise, would be centred around small business enterprises while the other ministry will focus on Investment, Trade and Industry.
According to the Minister responsible for this Ministry, Thulaganyo Segokgo this is necessitated by Botswana’s bold ambitious plan to transform the country from a resourced based economy to a knowledge based economy. In a committee of supply document seen by this publication, Segokgo states that the direct contribution of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) will be enhanced through concerted efforts on the different programs that have been identified in the National ITC Policy(Maitlamo), e-Government Strategy and the National Broadband Strategy which seek lay down the necessary infrastructure and services.
“To this extent, plans are afoot to separate the Ministry of Transport and Communications to establish a Ministry dedicated to Information and Communication Technology in line with the direction of His Excellency the President of Botswana, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, of positioning ICT as the heart of the development agenda of Botswana.” He said “this new and focused Ministry is imperative if we are to bring focus in ICT, leverage on its potential and achieve the Digital Economy.” He said in line with this, review and revision of the present policy, regulatory and legal framework s and formulation of new once to complement the existing ones, is going to be necessary.
He said as a way of securing Botswana’s critical infrastructure and safe-guard government’s online customers online, the establishment of a Communications Computer Incident Response Team is ongoing. “The project was originally scheduled to be completed by February 2020 but has since encountered some delays which prompted a shift on the completion date, to December 2020,” he said. Segokgo said efforts are also being made to transform and refocus the Ministry on an iterative basis.
“The Department of Roads, Department of Road Transport and Safety and the Department of Information Technology have been prioritised. Changes which have to be implemented include structural and human capacity aspects. He said as part of the planned restructuring of the ministry there is a proposal to change the Department of Roads into an autonomous entity as well as to enhance its project management and governance capability.