SMARTBOTS , The future of digital inclusion and innovation for Botswana

villagers and students gathered for the launch of SmartBots by President Masisi

The government of Botswana has developed the Digital Transformation Strategy for Botswana (SmartBots) that aims to assist Botswana to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). It is against this background that Botswana has conceived the Village Connectivity project through a whole of government approach to facilitate digital transformation across the economy, government and society. This necessitated the consolidation of government connectivity projects to ensure coordinated planning and accelerated deployment of digital connectivity. The project adopts a Connect a Village – Connect all Facilities approach to ensure that all public facilities in a particular village are connected to high-speed broadband.

The key focus of the Village Connectivity Project is to connect Dikgotla, Health Facilities, Schools and other key government facilities to high-speed internet to facilitate rollout and uptake of government online services and access to information in line with the Digital Connectivity Standards for Villages in Botswana.

His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana, Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi said that Digitization has the immense potential to unlock and enable high productivity among people, as well as ensure business continuity during turbulent times, be it for public or private sector business and services. The President said this when launching the SmartBots Village Connectivity Project earlier today.

His Excellency alluded that SmartBots Village Connectivity Project support digital transformation of all sectors of the economy and will move the country towards the Knowledge-Based Economy (KBE) that Botswana aspire to achieve in accordance with National Vision 2036.

Botswana Digital and Innovation Hub (BDIH) is set to host the SmartBots laboratory as a way to seize opportunities presented by the 4th Industrial Revolution (4thIR) and advance the country towards a knowledge based economy, by promoting national inclusiveness.

Mr Mongudi at a The Innovation Botswana Day said Botswana Digital Innovation Hub (BDIH) remained committed to Botswana’s SmartBots initiative which government had deployed as a fourth industrial transformation digital strategy to drive digital transformation across the economy, government and society.

Therefore, he said, as a national agency committed to fostering an innovative culture and ecosystem and stimulating enlightening conversations around innovation, BDIH continuously aimed to reach a broader audience each year to share the wisdom of experts.

“We have achieved this goal today by engaging more speakers than ever before and you will be pleased to witness some of the innovative projects we supported and are already using technologies to drive Digital Innovation Fund,” he said.

He added that a SmartBots strategy, as a digitilisation programme, also greatly emphasised on the engagement on the entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem, including the public, private and community partnerships in tackling the successful execution of the SmartBots priorities and initiatives. Our ultimate goal is to develop home grown solutions, sold through newly established companies incubated here at BDIH, first in Africa and then globally,” he added.

sources : Dailynews and Ministry of local government and rural development

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