Dear readers,

Welcome to the second Newsletter Issue of Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative!

Botswana, like many African countries, has a strong history of traditional tribal leadership and administration. Botswana Speaks, launched in September 2012, is an initiative that enables citizens in four constituencies (Maun West, Nata/Gweta, Boteti North and South East South) to share their views and policy concerns with their elected representatives through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

This initiative includes an offline component that strongly relies upon traditional consultations (kgotla meetings) by setting up constituency meetings where ongoing legislation will be discussed and debated by citizens. The online platform together with the constituency meetings matches a demand for better constituency services and an enhanced participation of citizens in the decision-making process.

The Botswana Speaks partners are now getting ready for the pilot phase: development of the final version of the online platform; training of constituency officers who will chair constituency meetings; organization of the constituency meetings where ongoing legislation will be discussed and debated in villages in the four constituencies involved. Learn all about it in our next edition!

Do you want to take action and get involved? Visit our website and share with us your ideas and suggestions!

Kind regards,
The Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative Newsletter Team

Project News

How ICT and tradition work together? New Parliamentary Initiative

How ICTs and traditions work together in Botswana?

The Botswana Speaks platform allows citizens from the whole country to share their input and opinions on ongoing legislation and allows citizens from four constituencies to share issues directly with their elected representatives. A first crucial stage was successfully reached with the development of the Alpha version of the online platform as it was presented to the Members of Parliament in Gaborone. On Tuesday 29 January, Vasilis Koulolias, Programme Director of the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative, presented the Alpha version of the platform to the four Members of Parliament involved in the project. Read more about the presentation of the platform



Meetings with Local Authorities in the four Constituencies

On Wednesday 27 February, partners in the Parliament of Botswana, together with Gov2u, presented the initiative's objectives to the local authorities of the four constituencies involved in the initiative - Maun West, Boteti North, Nata/Gweta and South East South. The organization of local constituency meetings as part of the project as well as the online platform have been presented and discussed with the local authorities that depend on the Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development.


eDemocracy in Botswana - connecting citizens and decision-makers

eDemocracy in Botswana - connecting citizens and decision-makers

In November 2012, Kheira Belkacem gave an interview on how the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative aims to integrate ICT tools within the political traditions of Botswana by not looking only at online tools but at the offline world as well. One of the aims of the initiative is to improve constituency services. At the same time, the platform enables citizens from all constituencies of Botswana to take part in discussions on legislation as discussed in the National Assembly. Gov 2.0 Radio has released the interview with her.


eDemocracy in Botswana - connecting citizens and decision-makers

Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative Gets an A*

It is with great honour that the Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative accepts the Editor's Choice Award for 2012. Through a large think-tank base of real life case studies submitted by members from across Europe, ePractice.eu gives access to the exchange of good practice experiences. The full version of the project's case in ePractice is available here.


One reason to visit our blog!

One reason to visit our blog!

Our leaflet has been updated. Check it out and tell us what you think!



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