Local economy players are exponentially warming up to the buzz as technology continues to drive the world’s 4th industrial revolution.Though dialogue on technology has been part of the economy for a long time, the story line is fast gaining traction. Stakeholders are now pinning their hope on digitalised economy. More calls are coming from both within government and private sector to absorb and leverage on technology.
“We need to plug in and realise the results of trading and living in a global village,” said Mmantlha Sankoloba, Botswana Export Manufacturers Association (BEMA) Chief Executive Officer. BEMA hopes that ‘e- gov’ strategy intentions to move all appropriate government services online for greater quality and convenience will happen soon.Sankoloba said the integration of digital data, will allow citizens or businesses to access most government services at any locality, online through mobile phones and personal commuters.
“This will, hopefully, end the absurdity of citizens and businesses having to travel vast distances, or shuffle between different ministries and departments, to access basic services,” said Sankoloba,
However, Sankoloba also challenged the nation to improve the business environment through re-engineering its processes.“As BEMA, we hold the view that the use of technology will not yield the desired results if we do not introspect and ascertain that our processes are customer centric,” said Sankoloba.Commenting on the digital industrialisation, Rosinah Bontsi, acting deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Investment Trade and Industry said the era has ushered in new opportunities for entrepreneurs to access new markets and to join global value chains.
“Jobs are being created and new business models are emerging,” said Bontsi adding that some economies have benefited from widely adopting electronic commerce and digital trade.She said digital industrialisation has emerged as a major driver and enabler of innovation, economic transformation and development. “The pace of digitilisation and technology has come at an accelerated speed, and bringing new risks and challenges for those that lack the capabilities to compete in the digital economy,” said Bontsi. Bonsti said the local economy needs to ensure that the digital economy is truly inclusive. “We need to have a clear idea of where we are and where we want to go,” she said.
Her remarks were echoed by Botswana Innovation Hub’s (BIH) Director of Marketing and Partnership, Tshepo Tsheko emphasising that the world has seen the value in digital. “Everyone is talking digital, any business that is not moving into digital, in the not so distant future will be out of business,” said Tsheko.BIH is on record announcing its intentions to make digitisation BIH’s flagship project through sustainable partnership with several stakeholders. Meanwhile Tsheko said both government and private sector have to embrace youth who live and breathe technology in the efforts to compete on the global 4th industrial revolution.