SWAKOPMUND – Botswana’s Minister of Communications, Knowledge and Technology Thulagano Segokgo is impressed with Namibia’s progress in terms of Information and Communication Technology (ITC) infrastructure.
Segokgo, who was in Namibia from 15 to 19 November on a reciprocal visit, was speaking during the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (Cran) and its counterpart, the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (Bocra) in Swakopmund on Thursday.
“I am particularly delighted because I think in our discussions, your minister (Peya Mushelenga) and I particularly placed emphasis on roaming rates. But you can see that the agreement that is being signed today has expanded upon the areas of cooperation, and I must commend both of you, Cran and Bocra, in essence for interpreting what we had said and broadening this cooperation”, he noted.
The agreement will allow the countries’ authorities to collaborate on matters related to cybersecurity, data protection and roaming data, amongst others.
The information ministers of Namibia and Botswana started working on this collaboration in August this year when information and communication minister Mushelenga visited Botswana.
Also speaking at the signing of the agreement, Cran CEO Emilia Nghikembua said this is a significant milestone in promoting collaboration and cooperation between the two organisations in the fields of telecommunications, radio communications and postal industry regulations.
“This event symbolises the strong bond and shared commitment in advancing our respective experiences, knowledge and practices. Together, we aspire to foster a communications ecosystem that is efficient, reliable, innovative and customer-centric,” she stated.
Nghikembua added that Namibia and Botswana have both made remarkable progress in shaping the ICT landscape, and will continue to build upon these achievements by exchanging information, best practices and experiences.
“Sharing these invaluable insights will undoubtedly enhance the quality of regulation, and drive further advancements in our nations. The MoU we are signing today (Thursday) sets the foundation for a collaborative journey, fostering an environment of constant learning and improvement. Through this partnership, we aim to leverage each other’s strengths, capitalise on opportunities, and address challenges collectively”.
This collaboration will encompass an array of areas, including Data Roaming Initiatives, management of radio spectrum, cybersecurity and data protection, regulation of telecommunications markets, E-waste, Collection and processing of statistical data, Consumer protection in relation to telecommunications services, promotion of technical innovation in the telecommunications field, International cooperation, especially in the framework of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and Quality of Services (QoS).
Bocra director Murphy Setswane, on his part, thanked the two ministers for their visionary leadership in recognising that ICT is the enabler of the economy.
“Currently, we talk of e-services, e-health and e-education. As a matter of fact, if you can grow the ICT sectors, you will grow by sizeable amounts our GDP in the respective countries.
The MoU will bring about affordable rates for roaming data between the two countries. The collaboration will enhance communication, trade and people-to-people relations to benefit both economies,” he stated.
Among others, the Botswana minister and his delegation which included Pontsho Pusoetsile, the permanent secretary of the Communications, Knowledge and Technology ministry, visited the Google Equiano landing cable and the West Africa Cable System (WACS).
The delegation also toured the Botswana Dry Port in Walvis Bay, as well as Telecom Namibia offices in Windhoek and Swakopmund.