Leader of Opposition in Parliament Duma Boko has ridiculed government for failing to invest in technology.
He said it was regrettable that not enough has been done to make Botswana a technology based economy, despite technology changing and improving lives.
When responding to the budget speech on Wednesday afternoon, Boko described technology as a positive catalyst for economic investment.
He explained that the use of technology enhances resilience among citizens and enterprises alike, instilling entrepreneurship and increasing economic efficiency.
Boko added that technology supports growth and thus creates employment.
“The UDC government will invest heavily in making high speed internet accessibility to all citizens. The internet will not only be faster, it will also become cheaper. This is because the UDC fully appreciates the fact that the internet is a basic necessity in today’s economic order,” outlined Boko.
“In today’s world, access to the internet is directly linked to the levels of literacy. Unfortunately, and tragically, under the BDP government, access to the internet is still considered a luxury reserved to those with money,” he added.
The UDC President promised that his government will ensure that no family is left outside the internet age simply because they are poor.
He said they will ensure connectivity to the internet broadband without regard to the economic status of families or individuals.
Boko added that the only reason many companies have their head offices in Johannesburg was the issue of internet connectivity and broadband, noting that it’s a loss to Botswana.
Boko stressed that providing access to the internet is a basic economic undertaking that the UDC value immensely, therefore they will invest in a new broad band across the country as a way of creating more efficient linkages between the urban and rural communities.
He said under the UDC all government officials from Ministers through Permanent Secretaries and senior officers, will be required to be IT savvy and to lead the way by enhancing technology both at work and their social roles.
“This is not the case under the BDP, and this has resulted in exorbitant budgets for stationery across government departments. Reducing such budgets will further release money to be spent on the technology innovations we are proposing. The underlying root of inefficiency inside government can easily be traced to the fact that there has been capital underinvestment, misallocation and mismanagement on ICT,” revealed Boko.
He further blamed government’s failure to embrace technology, as the reason it has remained detached from the people.
The UDC leader added that talks of e-governance under the current administration had been merely empty talks, saying huge amounts of money previously allocated towards e-governance have been misspent largely through corruption.