Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has told Parliament that for the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy to succeed in business and other development transactions, her ministry will in the next few days present a cyber crime bill. Parliament approved the ICT policy on Monday unanimously.
Speaking in Parliament, Venson-Moitoi said that she was impressed that the legislators who debated the issue have displayed IT literacy and that she was assuring the nation of a proper implementation plan for the policy.
"To guard against online crime in areas of e-commerce, my ministry will be presenting a cyber crime bill," she announced.
It is hoped that ICT policy will help create employment and business growth in Botswana.
She pointed out that it was regrettable that in every good idea there were always a few bad apples with ulterior motives, hence the need for an online crime bill.
Responding to questions on the challenges facing universal access to education- "Thuto-Net", she said that the latest records from the Ministry of Education revealed that almost all senior secondary schools have an examinable computer subject.
The junior secondary schools only had a non-examinable computer awareness subject.
She told the House that Internet was not available in government schools.
Despite agreeing to the policy, Gaborone South MP, Akanyang Magama, said that for proper implementation of the policy, government had to sufficiently fund the professional development of teachers to drive Thuto-Net.
He urged that in today's age, schools were challenged to cultivate scientific knowledge, which, he said, would come in handy for the ICT industry.
Magama also argued that for a project that promises millions of pula, government had to ensure that Batswana had the monopoly in all ICT businesses.
"Government should positively discriminate against foreign owned companies in the interest of Batswana," he said.
Magama said that for the policy to work, the necessary legal framework had to ensure that the ICT policy gave priority to citizen companies.
Selebi-Phikwe East MP, Nonofo Molefhi, complained that the policy did not say anything about the minister's powers as chair of the proposed 'Information Age Council', which will be responsible for monitoring and coordinating the ICT policy.
Molefhi also said that there was a danger in the use of ICT.
He said that he acknowledges that the policy could hasten services, but expressed concern with the fast-tracking of developments into ICT.
"It is going to kill the human face in the process of development," adding that although it was a positive innovation, it had the potential to kill Botswana culture.
Source: Mmegi Online