The government is working on splitting the Ministry of Transport and Communications into two different ministries, it has emerged. Last year, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi was quoted in the Daily News as saying that the government had decided to split the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry into two ministries.
The President reportedly stated that the new Ministry, which would be referred to as the Ministry of Small Business and Enterprise, would be centred around small business enterprises while the other ministry will focus on Investment, Trade and Industry.
According to the Minister responsible for this Ministry, Thulaganyo Segokgo, this is necessitated by Botswana’s bold, ambitious plan to transform the country’s economy from resource-based into a knowledge-based one. The Sunday Standard reportedly saw a committee of supply document in which Segokgo states that the direct contribution of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) will be enhanced through concerted efforts on the different programs that have been identified in the National ITC Policy(Maitlamo), e-Government Strategy and the National Broadband Strategy, which seek to lay down the necessary infrastructure and services.
“To this end, plans are afoot to separate the Ministry of Transport and Communications to establish a Ministry dedicated to Information and Communication Technology in line with His Excellency the President of Botswana, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi’s direction of positioning ICT as the heart of Botswana’s development agenda,” he said.
“This new and focused Ministry is imperative if we are to bring focus onto ICT, to leverage on its potential and achieve the Digital Economy.”
Minister Segokgo said in line with this, it will be necessary to review and revise the present policy, regulatory and legal frameworks and the formulation of new ones to complement the existing ones. He said to secure Botswana’s critical infrastructure and safeguard the government’s online customers, a Communications Computer Incident Response Team is currently being established.
“The project was originally scheduled to be completed by February 2020 but has since encountered some delays, which prompted a shift on the completion date to December 2020,” he said.
“The Department of Roads, Department of Road Transport and Safety and the Department of Information Technology have been prioritised. Changes to be implemented include structural and human capacity aspects. He said as part of the planned ministry restructure, a proposal has been put forth to turn the Department of Roads into an autonomous entity as well as to enhance its project management and governance capability.