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Govt ICT network modernisation ongoing

23 Mar 2023

Parliament has heard that an exercise to modernise government network is ongoing through different initiatives in order to make Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure effective and efficient in the delivery of services.

Presenting the Ministry of Communications, Knowledge and Technology’s budget estimates for the 2023/2024 financial year on March 22, Minister Thulagano Segokgo said during the two-year Transitional National Development Plan, government would digitise services that promoted Government to Government (G2G), and Government to Employee (G2E) interactions.

This, he said, would optimise public sector service delivery, including employee performance monitoring and evaluation, project portfolio management as well as electronic document and records management.

“Infrastructure development, service excellence, citizen centricity and organisational effectiveness are critical to the continual delivery of a smart and sustainable society for Botswana. 

The key result area for the ICT sector is the provision of universal and affordable access to ICT services in Botswana, which would be achieved through appropriate policy, legal and regulatory framework,” the minister said.

Part of the efforts, he said, involved migration of mission critical services and application to the Delta Digital Data Centre, an internationally accredited data centre owned by Botswana Fibre Networks.

He said such migration, planned for the year 2023/2024 financial year, would eliminate the perennial ‘system down’ problem and guarantee government services availability and accessibility.

That, he said, would be encapsulated in the SmartBots action plan with the aim to co-creation digital economy in collaboration with our citizens, the private sector and the civil society.

“Notwithstanding this imminent migration, in the year 2022/2023 we implemented critical upgrades to the existing government hosting environment to ensure service stability and already through the SmartBots initiative, 143 villages have been completed covering 1 113 premises within these villages,” he said.

He added that phase two of the project would commence in the next financial year and would cover 61 villages and 212 facilities including schools, hospitals, clinics, health posts, colleges and brigades which would be provided with ICT services.

He noted that planning had commenced for implementing the phase three of the same project to be implemented concurrently with phase two.

Further, Mr Segokgo said the ministry would in the next financial year, review the ICT policy, legal and regulatory framework to ensure it continued to serve the nation into the future.

“The resulting framework should help take the country into the digital economy, as encapsulated in the ‘reset and reclaim agenda’ under digitilisation,” he said.

Also, he said government would avail multiple online access channels such as the 1Gov-1Citizen online services access platform, mobile application and Point of Sale for centralised government payments in order to ensure access for all and for citizens to conveniently access better connectivity services.

He said to further enhance citizen interaction with government online, a centralised communication service and an online appointment management service, would also be made available.

Legislators heard that rationalisation of government ministries and the need to include local authorities and key State-Owned Entities in the Government of Botswana Enterprise Architecture had necessitated the need to review the enterprise architecture.

“This review is aimed at ensuring that our technology investments drive a 1-Botswana approach to the transformation of our economy,” he said.

It was against such a backdrop that the minister requested Parliament  to approve over P1.8 billion for the 2023/2024 financial year, comprising over P948.5 million for the recurrent budget and over P 876.2  for the development budget. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Thato Mosinyi

Location : GABORONE

Event : Parliament March 2023

Date : 23 Mar 2023