Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology, Mrs F.S. Bakwena to the Consultative Forum on Addressing Botswana

source: Republic of Botswana (21/9/09) TAUTONA TIMES no 24 of 2009
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity and Discipline"


[SALUTATIONS]...Ladies and gentlemen

1. First and foremost, allow me, Director of Ceremony to take this opportunity to welcome our distinguished guests from South Africa and, indeed, from the public and private sector for graciously agreeing to come and share with us their experiences on this important subject which I believe will revolutionalize the way the post office does its business in Botswana.

2. I am pleased to announce that the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology, and its partners are unfolding yet another major milestone in the economic development of the country. The project, branded, Addressing Botswana addresses the need to unify our addressing system in Botswana.
The address system in Botswana was last year, found by a study sponsored by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to be deficient. The study highlighted the following challenges:

* The plot numbering systems in Botswana are not geared at enhancing commercial activity or service provision
* Service providers who have the same customers (such as Water and Power providers) have different profiles for the same customers; this leaves a lot of room for national level fraud
* Every organization uses its own resources to create its own customer profile;

3. All this leads to a situation where service providers have no way of authenticating the validity of contact information as provided by customers or users

4. Therefore, my Ministry is calling for a unified system, not only at the national level, but also at regional and global level. Addressing Botswana will help improve access to new economic opportunities and its stake in the global market.

5. Distinguished Gentlemen, Addressing Botswana will enable us to provide accurate, up-to-date and reliable data and records which are critical for decision making on important matters such as maintenance of national records, foreign direct investment and business growth.

6. At local level, addressing Botswana will help the country to establish a reliable registry for national identification cards, electoral records, taxation, property, land registration and vehicle registration. We will be able to unify various public and private institutions and utilities and thus avoiding duplication and redundancy.

7. Name delivery services such as parcels, letters, and goods will become practicable. Another important facet will be the expansion of economic activities and the emergence of new economic activities. For example, an accurate location of customers, competitors and suppliers would assist business operators in their ventures and targeted operations. Addressing Botswana will greatly assist in home delivery services such as courier and customer billing, telecommunications activities, fleet management, e-commerce and location based services.

8. This system will also help achieve and stimulate economic development by creating a climate of security and efficiency that would prove attractive to investors and thus create new activities and save money.

9. The Government of Botswana will benefit through improvements such as tax collection across the board. The shared database would also serve as a reliable source for local authorities. It will also improve town planning management and practices, thus national infrastructure planning because it improves knowledge and information on the structure, density and distribution of the population.

10. Addressing system will also contribute to the development of a stable, standard and reliable public property record-keeping system (titles, deeds, security). A good addressing system will improve efficiency in the issuance and tracking of building permits as well as achieve better codes enforcement regulations such as health inspections, building standards, zoning and localizing. Lastly, a good addressing system will improve safety and security standards by enhancing speedy emergency responses, and improve crime prevention.

11. In today's Consultative Forum, we shall listen to a number of presentations including those from our neighbours; Director, South African Post Office and Director Mailing Association of South Africa. The two presentations from South Africa will be a good benchmark. South Africa already uses a National Postcode and Addressing system for the benefit of the consumers, business organizations and others.

12. We also expect to hear from our colleagues from the public and private sectors, their envisaged challenges and experiences. All these presentations will help us chart the way forward in developing addressing system in Botswana and I can only hope that in driving this process, my Ministry will make the most of these presentations.

13. Director of Ceremonies, I once again want to welcome you all to this important event and wish you fruitful deliberations.

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