Civil Society - community access and service delivery, public awareness, capacity building, and content development.
Economy - agricultural extension networks; information management; ICT training for Agricultural sector; market information and pricing; infrastructure; diversification; ICT industry and private sector development; agricultural, tourism and manufacturing sectors; legal, regulatory and institutional framework; investment; e-commerce; internet security and privacy; and international marketing.
Education - ICT resource centres, infrastructure, school connectivity, library connectivity, professional development, curriculum and content development, tertiary education, and private sector training.
Government - e-government, e-services, e-information, efficiency, effectiveness, transparency, human resource development, accessibility, standards, guidelines, and policies.
Health - infrastructure, service delivery and quality, accessibility, telemedicine, health care system management, human resource development, and electronic health networks.
Law - legislation, regulation, privacy, security, and cyber crime.
Infrastructure - technical and physical infrastructure development, network quality, infrastructure standards, ICT systems security and privacy standards, emerging technologies, human resource development, and ICT infrastructure management.
The overall objective of the Policy is to complement and build upon Botswana’s Vision 2016 strategy by cultivating an enabling environment for the growth of the country’s ICT industry, providing universal service and nationwide access to information and communication facilities, and positioning Botswana as a global competitor in the ICT sector.
The other wide-ranging objectives of the policy include providing an efficient and cost-effective ICT infrastructure, establishing universal access to local and relevant information, instituting an unambiguous ICT legal framework, and enhancing government services and health care through the use of ICTs in order to engender a populace that is well prepared to participate, learn and innovate in an information and knowledge based society and an economy that is diversified and attractive to foreign investment.
Below are specific strategies outlined in this document to achieve the ICT policy objectives for the economic, education and health sectors:
The potential of ICT will be harnessed to create growth in employment and will be utilised as a diversification strategy away from natural resource extraction. In order to achieve this goal, focus will be placed on the international services sector to enhance Botswana’s capacity to provide international financial services and Business Process Outsourcing; improvements in technical infrastructure, service quality and reliability will be made in order to attract foreign direct investment to the services industry; a network of agricultural extension agents has been recommended to provide farmers with an inventory of agricultural information, marketing information, and pricing; a national tourism portal will be created; academic/private sector partnerships, such as Student Connections, will be established to assist in the adoption of ICTs; small businesses will be encouraged to become e-businesses; and clear conditions for participation in the ICT sector will be instituted.
In order for Botswana to achieve sustainable ICT-driven transformation and national growth, the focus of the educational strategy will be primarily on local skills development, with a particular emphasis on the development of ICT skills in children and young adults. Therefore, an efficient, accessible, affordable, and reliable infrastructure that connects all schools and learning centres will be implemented; school connectivity will be enabled through a central education network with infrastructure that supports broadband delivery; public libraries will be provided the necessary ICT resources to go online; computers will be introduced at a higher ratio in the classroom to facilitate the infusion of ICT throughout the curriculum; training, development and support of education professionals will be implemented in order to ensure the effective integration of ICT with educational curriculum; and, training and job creation will be provided for those outside of the formal educational system through public and private initiatives, such as JobNet - a network of on-line services and tools aimed at helping employers and job seekers use the internet for recruitment, career, labour and learning information.
Botswana’s e-Health programme will utilise ICTs in order to increase quality, effectiveness, safety and swiftness of health services. The three main goals of the programme are to connect all facilities, in which care is provided more than 10 days a month, by the end of 2008; make online health information universally accessible by the end of 2009; and prepare the way for the provision of remote health services across the nation by the end of 2010. There are four major initiatives that have been designed to achieve these ends. The first is entitled Building a Strong Foundation for e-health and will focus on developing national leadership and sponsorship for the e-Health project, reviewing legislation and policy regarding storing and managing health information in an electronic form, and identify the necessary technical infrastructure and standards. The second initiative, Enabling Clinicians to Deliver Excellent Patient Care, will focus on professional development for health care workers, providing the necessary tools and resources, and managing the transition to e-Health services. Improving Access to Health Services and Information is the third initiative and is comprised of programmes that range from expanding the use of radio and television healthcare messages to an online Health Portal and Telehealth initiative that provides patients with access to nurses via the telephone. Finally, the National Health Surveillance Network initiative will facilitate the improvement of the health care system by providing the government with feedback on health issues and the strategies utilised to address them.