Taking internet to the people

Kitso Ramono
MASCOM CEO Dzene Makhwade-Seboni

Mascom Wireless hands over Southern District Digital Empowerment Project

Last Friday (June 30, 2024), Mascom Wireless Company handed over the Southern District Digital Empowerment Project, in partnership with the Universal Access and Service Fund (UASF) to Rakhuna village in the Barolong District.

This is in line with Mascom’s efforts to connect the rest of Botswana with Internet.

When handing over the project, Mascom Wireless Company CEO, Dzene Makhwade-Seboni highlighted that it is an initiative to ensure that all health posts and primary, junior and senior schools in the south have access to broadband internet which will be used by the community.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Southern District Empowerment Project is a Mascom effort that we are proud of and dedicated to. We are proud to have connected 67 villages, 150 government buildings, 57 schools, 46 health posts, and 47 Wards to broadband internet. This effort aims not only to provide internet connectivity to remote areas, but also to expand villagers’ understanding, improve their education, and assist small companies operating in villages,” she explained.

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Makhwade- Seboni further explained that the internet would also allow students to conduct research and wirelessly interact with their teachers and peers in order to share educational resources, as well as assist teachers in sourcing materials that will help students to perform better in their studies.

In his closing remarks, Goodhope Council Chairperson, Kenaleone Fankie, said that this project is a game-changer as students in primary, junior, and senior secondary schools will now have access to online educational resources, interactive learning platforms, and the ability to connect with peers and educators worldwide.

“To date, government has provided over 54 000 devices to learners across the country, and therefore, digital connectivity will enhance the quality of education, provide new learning opportunities, and better prepare our students for the future, directly contributing to the development of a skilled workforce as driven by the SmartBots initiatives,” said Fankie.

He went on to reveal that the project’s impact on the community extends far beyond education.

”Improved telecommunications infrastructure translates to better access to healthcare information, government services, and business opportunities. It empowers local businesses, particularly women entrepreneurs and farmers, by providing them with the tools and knowledge to leverage digital technologies for growth and efficiency, aligning with the NDP 12’s focus on fostering entrepreneurship and diversifying the economy,” he concluded.

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For his part the Rakhuna village chief, Peter Mmila urged villagers to use technology wisely and responsibly.

“As villagers, when we are given things that are helpful, we must take care of them and use them for good rather than bad. Apply for government programmes utilising these services, which are there at your fingertips,” said Kgosi Mmila.

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