Bots moves to end digital divide

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Gaborone - Botswana has availed free public Wi-Fi in the central business district of the capital Gaborone as the first step in guaranteeing Internet connectivity across the country.

Launching the Gabz City Free WIFi hotspots in Gaborone recently, President Mokgweetsi Masisi said the government’s position was that when it came to Internet access, his administration was following the mantra of “Leaving No One Behind” in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“It is important to note that the use of Internet has become a daily necessity in the lives of many people and organizations alike such as Government, the private sector and stakeholders as they use it for business transactions and networking,” President Masisi.  

He added that “we are gratified that the rollout of these hotspots will enable Batswana to make use of the available internet services”.

President Masisi said Botswana would partner leading global firms and organisations “so we become a living laboratory for 4IR (the Fourth Industrial Revolution)”.

“The agreement has been reached and citizens and their companies are at the centre of this initiative. Watch this space and more will come, and yes we are going to rock Botswana. The consequences of COVID 19 have revealed that ICT and internet connectivity is no longer a luxury but a critical tool for development,” said the president.

He said his government would extend free Internet connectivity to all villages across the country so that the majority could “participate in the digitised economy as well as bridging the digital divide”.

 “The National Broadband Strategy is one such initiative that seeks to increase access to information and communication technology, as well as to address poor and unreliable network connectivity in the country is one such strategy,” President Masisi said. 

 “It is important to underscore that the WIFI hotspots will go a long way in improving service delivery and the livelihoods of the residents of Gaborone. Some of the services which will be made available on this platform include company registration and tax services. Other Government agencies will fast track the process of placing their services online so that they can be easily be accessed through these hotspots.”

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