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Botswana will host the 14th World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Symposium to be attended by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on November 21-23, 2016 at the GICC. Botswana is the third African country to host the world symposium after Egypt and Mauritius. Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority’s (BOCRA) Noble Katse said about 400 delegates from all over the world will attend. He said the symposium has evolved to become the main global forum for telecommunications and information society measurements. “This includes high level debates addressing key questions related to ICT policy and data,” he said.
The conference is expected to bring delegates together from all over the world ranging from government ministers and business leaders to regulators, national statisticians, lead academics and ICT data producers and analysts. He said the objective of the symposium is to debate new and emerging issues on ICT data and statistics and their role in policy making, to provide strategic guidance to the international community on information society trends and future monitoring while at the same time developing standards for methodologies for producing high quality data and statistical indicators. Deputy Permanent Secretary (ICT) in the Ministry of Transport and Communications Ephraim Balebetse said they have already made vast progress as the host and have raised P3.5 million in pledges from different companies as their contribution.
He said the committee is in full swing to make sure that the event becomes a success and have already uploaded the programme of the events on the ITU website. He urged Batswana to register despite being the hosts to avoid being blocked at the door because access will only be given to registered candidates. Botswana Post’s Mokoko Gaboutlwelwe applauded the government and everyone involved for bringing the symposium to Botswana. “When the world converges in Botswana next month, they should not feel like they are in Africa, but rather they should see and feel as if they are in any part of the world that is way progressed,” he said. He said it is important for Batswana to first of all portray the unity that the country is known for and make everyone feel welcome. Some of the topics to be discussed at the symposium are Leader’s Dialogue: Understanding the structural Impact of ICTs, Presentation of the Measuring the Information Society Report 2016 and launch ceremony of the ICT Development Index (IDI), and New data needs for the SDGs.