Welcome Remarks by Mr Murphy Setshwane

Welcome Remarks by Mr Murphy Setshwane, Director Licensing and Postal Regulation at Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) on the occasion of the SADC ICT Observatory and Broadband Indicators Workshop held from 10-14 December 2014, SADC Secretariat HQ.

Director of Ceremonies 
Representatives of SADC Secretariat and its partners 
Communications Regulators Association of Southern Africa - CRASA 
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa – UNECA 
International Telecommunication Union – ITU 
Southern Africa Telecommunications Association – SATA 
Representatives of SADC Member States 
Distinguished delegates 
Ladies and Gentlemen 

I feel privileged and greatly honoured to welcome you all to Botswana for the SADC ICT Observatory and Broadband Indicators Workshop. During the past few weeks Botswana has experienced extremely high temperature and dry weather despite the fact that we are officially in the rainy season.  The heat has been unbearable with temperatures reaching highs of 40 degrees celsius in some parts of the country.

You are special as your arrival in Botswana seems to be turning around this unpleasant situation with a few showers that we received over the weekend.  In keeping with our culture, we welcome you with open arms in the full belief that you will bring us even more rain.   Your visit also coincides with the festive season when everyone is in a celebratory mood.  I therefore trust that you will be met with happy Batswana faces as you move around.

Director of Ceremonies, that ICTs are at the core of our modern lives is almost a cliché.  However, the examples of the likes of Singapore, Republic of Korea, Rwanda and other countries that are leading in terms of ICT deployment and usage, are living proof that ICTs give economies more than a competitive advantage.  They actually define quality of life in the modern-day world.

It is in this light that I take my hat off to SADC ICT Ministers for their vision in calling for the SADC ICT Observatory and Broadband Indicators initiative.  It is popularly held that what cannot be measured cannot be managed and the failure to measure is the biggest undoing for most of us in the developing world.  All of us developing nations, particularly in Africa, are making concerted efforts aimed at embracing the use of ICTs.  However, many of us have difficulties in quantifying the resources that we put in and relating them to the benefits derived because of limited statistical records.  This makes it difficult to market ourselves as individual countries and even as a collective.  As a result, we are likely to lose out on the benefits of the digitalisation as we have lost out on the previous revolutions. I am glad that initiatives such as this one will assist us to break this vicious cycle and in the fullness of time, we shall reap the full benefits of ICTs and globalisation.

I was encouraged to see that the deliverables of this initiative include building capacity of ICT Indices; establishing the status of data collection and validation in Member States; becoming familiar with calculating the IDI and ITU Price Basket among many others.  This workshop therefore lends itself as the prescription that will address our common problem.  I am humbled that as Botswana, we accepted the responsibility to host this important workshop in continuance of our commitment towards reginal advancement.  

I once again welcome you and trust that you will find the humble arrangements that we put together for this workshop adequate to enable you to do justice to the subject matter before you.  I therefore invite you to feel at home.  After all, as the seat of SADC, Botswana is your home away from home.

I thank you for your attention.  Let there be rain or as we say in vernacular, PULA!!

Monday, December 10, 2018