E-Govt to Up Service Delivery

| November 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

Coordinator for e-government, Dr Omponye Kereteletswe says the e-government project is a digital and internet-based Information Technology (IT) that allows citizens greater access to government information and services.

Speaking at the second Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI) public seminar, Dr Kereteletswe said Botswana’s e-government plan outlines five major project areas:

They include portal enhancement, multiple access, technical rationalisation and integration, skills transformation in support of e-Government programme (STEP) and the Botswana’s e-Government and transformation, reform, organisational and network governance (Be G) programme.

Dr Kereteletswe noted that running parallel the e-government is also another 25 interrelated projects that aims to collectively move all appropriate government services online to improve public sector service delivery.

He said government has launched a new and enhanced web portal which allows for easy and speedy retrieval of relevant information and related services that allows information from all ministries and authorities to be accessible.

“The seminar is more relevant as it addresses some of the misconceptions about the rate of technology adoption in Africa and how technology could make a difference to some of the challenges of Africa in the next five years,” he said.

However, Dr Kereteletswe noted that e-Government is faced with a mammoth task because of lack of infrastructure in rural parts of the country as well as manpower to ensure that systems are up and running at all times.

“Notwithstanding these challenges, our aim is to accelerate the uptake and usage of ICT across all segments of Batswana society,” he said.

He cited Sesigo project which is one of the 25 projects running parallel to e-government. He explained that it allows access to computers and the internet by communities that might otherwise not have benefited from the use of modern ICT services due to various factors such as lack of infrastructure or equipment and facilities.

This project aims to transform the Botswana National Library Services by enabling it to provide the full range of information services available via digital platform, where all can access ITC services at public libraries, at no cost, he said, adding that thus far, the project has equipped five community libraries.

Deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Dr Seja Maphanyane said Africa has come a long way to claim being the mobile continent of the world as researchers predict that internet on mobile phones will increase 20 folds in the next five years which will be double the rate of growth in the rest of the world.

Dr Maphanyane further said people in Africa use mobile phones for online activities that others normally perform on desktop computers and laptops.

She explained that this has to be an innovation for Africa to overcome with or non-existence of land line infrastructure in many parts of Africa which is the poorest continent.

With the planned implementation of the e-government, she said, Botswana country expects efficiency, reduced costs and improved access to the functions of government. She said technology will allow African economies to leapfrog on other economies through indigenous deployment addressing Africa’s most pressing problems.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

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