Thulagano Segokgo, the Minister of Transport and Communications, has, according to reports, stated that Information Technology and Communication (ICT) is a critical success factor for the national economic activity and the key to transforming the local economy into a knowledge-based digital economy.
Owing to this outlook, Botswana has created numerous initiatives to boost its ICT industry and develop avenues to assist struggling ICT companies that were negatively impacted by the COVID19 pandemic.
I have given a directive to guarantee that the ministry’s ICT projects and contracts prioritise citizen-owned companies, said the Minister of Transportation and Communications. The ICT budgets for the current fiscal year should be utilised to stimulate contractors’ opportunities, he added. Although some projects remain incomplete, the national transport and communications budget for FY2020/21 indicates that over P77 million (US$6.9 million) was spent on ten local companies, according to reports.
In a statement, Segokgo said that the government’s focus on ICT has led to creating the Communications Computer Incident Response Team (COMM-CIRT) in December 2020. The purpose of the establishment is to secure the country’s critical infrastructure and safeguard online customers.
COMM-CIRT will be responsible for advising on cybersecurity breaches, viruses and other potentially harmful cyber threats that may affect regulated entities.
Additionally, we aim to ensure that the country remains resilient and globally competitive during this fourth industrial revolution. Also, the government adopts a solid and adequate ICT infrastructure that is universally accessible, said Segokgo.
Segokgo highlighted that Botswana is exploring collaborative efforts with EU cyber for Development (EU Cyber 4-Dev) to develop cybersecurity law.