News & Events

Our blog is where you'll find all our project updates,highlights and achievements, as well as other news and events related to Botswana Speaks Parliamentary Initiative.

“Inclusive Innovation in Governance: Critical reflections from Botswana” to be presented @ UKAIS 2014 Conference

An analytical paper on the Botswana Speaks project titled “Inclusive Innovation in Governance: Critical reflections from Botswana” by Somya Joshi, Kheira Belkacem, Vasilis Koulolias and Vasso Zalavra was accepted for the 19th UKAIS Conference on Information Systems in Oxford, UK. It will be presented by Somya Joshi on 9 April. 

This paper will be reworked in line with peer-reviewed comments and additional end user data that has come in during March 2014, to be submitted to a top journal in the field of ICT4D.

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How to Measure a Post-2015 MDG on Good Governance

According to an article published on Global Integrity , there’s been plenty of chatter in recent months about a possible post-2015 Millennium Development Goal on governance following the release of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The report called out “good governance and effective institutions” as one of 12 “illustrative” goals that nations might consider when adopting new development targets for the post-2015 era. This is potentially big news for transparency and accountability boosters; enshrining good governance in the post-2015 MDG process could provide significant political cover for continued reform efforts while simultaneously unlocking new resources for the work.

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The unique power of mobile broadband technology in Africa is a good chance of meeting the MDGs deadline

According the article, the ubiquitous broadband has suddenly become the springboard from which nations seek to do so much for themselves within the interconnected world. In this report Olubayo Abiodun, Clifford Agugoesi and Chimezie Ndubisi highlight the nexus between high-speed internet connectivity and the attainment of the MDGs by African nations.

African governments are still fixated on how to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) given the many challenges that they have to deal with. The mandate has not been made any easy given the rising costs of governance, spiralling challenges and competing needs in the midst of dwindling fortunes in the political and economic spheres. From combating diseases to reducing child mortality, implementing Universal Basic Primary Education, ensuring gender equality, intractable security issues and political upheavals, the MDGs are somewhat intertwined. This is where mobile broadband has been described as the single most important hope left for Africa to accelerate towards meeting the MDGs by the target date of 2015.

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Tanzania: ICT Centres to Be Established in Every Village

In a bid to increase transparency in governance, plans are underway to establish Information Communication Technology (ICT) centres in every village.Chief Secretary, Ambassador Ombeni Sefue, said this on Friday in Dar es Salaam during his visit to the e-Government agency offices.

He said it is important that priority is given to rural areas so as to harness knowledge for development."There is no way that we can avoid using ICT as it develops daily and is used worldwide by various governments," he said.

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How Mobile Phones Are Bringing Change in Governance

According to an article published on engageSPARK, currently, there are as many mobile-cellular subscriptions in the world as there are people, with more than half of the users in the Asia-Pacific region – 3.5 billion of the 6.8 billion total subscriptions (ICT Facts and Figures by International Telecommunication Union ITU). This does not necessarily mean that every person in this world has a mobile phone or that every region has a cellular network. The increase is attributed to the fact that a single user may have more than one device and/or cellular subscription. The study by ITU also points out that the mobile-cellular penetration rate is at 96% in the world; 128% in developed countries, and 89% in developing countries.

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Open data platforms: a tool to revolutionise governance

Having returned from speaking at a conference hosted by the World Bank president Jim Yong Kim on the issue of constituency feedback, Jay Naidoo shares lessons on how to engage citizens in governance and strengthen civil society through open data.

Among other, Jay Naidoo mentions that "Africa is the fastest growing mobile market in the world, with over 600 million users. Using the pervasive mobile technology platform, we could avoid costly software applications and improve the performance of education. [...] What we need is the political will to co-create the tools with citizens and civil society, and to harness the expertise and technology of the marketplace to deliver the services to which our citizens have a right".

Read the article here

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