Media Release - WTISD 2019 and Girls in ICT Day

On May 17, the Botswana ICT sector, led by the Ministry of Transport and Communications will convene in Sefhare village on May 17, to commemorate the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) 2019, and the Girls in ICT Day. During these events, the ICT stakeholders will donate ICTs and connectivity to selected schools within the area and teach ICT skills to students and youth in the area.

Commemorated under the themes - Bridging the Standardization Gap; and Expanding Horizons, Changing Attitudes; the objectives of these events are to reflect how uptake and usage of ICTs in Botswana can positively impact Botswana’s ICT- centric economy, growth and job creation. ENDs.

Further Notes

Founded on 1865 as the International Telegraph Convention was established to ensure that telegraph networks had a common language, codes and technical rules to facilitate communications. Later, renamed the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), this United Nations specialized agency is mandated to oversee all ICTs and establish standards which will ensure that networks and devices communicate and interoperate seamlessly.

This year, May 17 marks the 50th anniversary of the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD). It comes as no surprise that the ITU chose for theme: Bridging the Standardization Gap because the ITU has since its founding been devoted to establishing standards. This theme is a throwback to the ITU’s historic and continuing concern - to develop standards that will help close the communications gap.

As we go about our daily lives, we encounter ITU’s global standards every day without knowing it. Yet, hidden within the ICT networks and devices we use every day, ITU standards rarely perceived by users, exist, and are vital to ensuring that ICT equipment and devices manufactured by thousands of different companies around the world can interoperate.

The theme, ‘Bridging the Standardization Gap’, highlights the disparity between developed and developing countries in how far they are involved in standardization.  Commonly referred to as the Standardization Gap, this inequality contributes to the so-called digital divide. Because of the highly specialized and technical nature of standards, this area is sometimes viewed as purely technical. To address this misconception, the ITU has initiated a Bridging the Digital Gap programme to help developing countries get on the ladder to contribute to the development of standards.

The ITU calls upon governments, academia, ICT stakeholders to recognize and emphasize the critical role of globally interoperable standards to the areas of electronic commerce, eHealth, scientific information, and to promote the development and adoption of open, interoperable, non-discriminatory and demands-driven standards.

When developing countries do not participate in developing standards, they must accept the design choices and associated policy consequences of dominant standards. As such, developing countries often find themselves being forced acquire inefficient products, ill-suited to domestic use, resulting in costly and inefficient infrastructure.

In order to close the standardization gap, Botswana must resolve to initiate plans that will in the short to long term provide for an active contribution to the ITU standardization work; and build technical expertise within its human resource capital to develop standards.

For further information, please contact:
Mr Aaron T. Nyelesi 
Director – Corporate Communications and PR BOCRA 
Tel (mobile) 713 137 65

Thursday, May 16, 2019