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In an effort to bridge the digital divide, Cybersmart Botswana in collaboration with Botswana Communications and Regulatory Authority (BOCRA), Botswana National Library Services and the Ministry of Communications, Knowledge and Technology, is set to kick off a countrywide roadshow to equip society with essential digital skills.
Dubbed the eBotho Digital Literacy Roadshow, the roadshow comes as part of a campaign to empower Batswana with the knowledge and confidence to navigate the digital landscape, particularly following the recent launch of the SmartBots Village Connectivity Project through which government is rolling out internet connectivity to more 500 villages across Botswana.
Botswana is one of the leading countries in Africa on internet connectivity, with an estimated 70% population penetration rate.
Cybersmart Botswana’s Programme Coordinator, Mosadi Moloi says the eBotho Digital Literacy Roadshow, which is set to kick off in Maun with a 2-day workshop on Thursday, 9th to Friday 10th November, is therefore aimed at ensuring that Batswana fully benefit from the country’s digital transformation through smart use of technology.
Moloi says the roadshow, which is estimated to run for an estimated period of four months, will feature digital skills workshops in public libraries across the country, with sessions that are designed to cater for different groups of society such as the elderly, youth, kids, professionals and entrepreneurs.
“Our workshops will be tailored to meet the specific needs of diverse groups and communities. Participants can therefore look forward to a comprehensive curriculum covering a wide range of topics, including basic internet skills, online safety, digital communication tools, online entrepreneurship, e-learning, and children’s safety” remarked Moloi.
She added that through a combination of hands-on training, interactive sessions, and practical exercises, participants will gain confidence in navigating the digital landscape.
Moloi also noted that the roadshow, which is funded by BOCRA, comes at a critical juncture as government is increasingly introducing online public services and this requires that Batswana regardless of their background or location, possess the skills to use digital tools to access these services.
“We believe that access to digital skills is a fundamental right in today’s world. By bringing these workshops directly to communities, we aim to make digital literacy accessible and inclusive for everyone. We also seek to empower individuals from all walks of life, ensuring that no one is left behind in the digital revolution” She highlighted.
Moloi added that the roadshow’s schedule has been carefully curated to reach both urban centers and remote villages, ensuring that individuals in even the most underserved areas have the opportunity to acquire these vital skills.
Furthermore, the eBotho Digital Literacy Roadshow is designed to foster a spirit of collaboration between stakeholders, including civil society, government, the private sector and community leaders. “By working together, including with Botswana National Library Services, we aim to create a sustainable ecosystem that supports ongoing digital skill development beyond the duration of the roadshow” through training of trainers for Librarians, who will then continue to impart the skills on Batswana in their different localities, beyond the roadshow” Noted Moloi.