The government has been called to share information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure with the private sector to increase the latter’s public outreach and create jobs.
Such infrastructure as radio and television transmitters is scattered across the country and is underutilised. In some instances, the infrastructure is vandalised because of lack of security.
Private radio stations have in the past appealed to the government to avail radio mast, but without success. It is regrettable that the government is always preaching citizen empowerment and job creation yet it cannot see opportunities to empower the private sector.
The sharing of infrastructure can be used as a revenue generation channel where the private sector pays a certain fee for using the infrastructure.
The sharing of infrastructure can also be extended to other areas such as lighting equipment that can be rented to filmmakers.
There is need to change mindsets on how we do things if we are to create sustainable jobs. Another area that needs urgent attention of the authorities is the inclusion of restaurants in government buildings that should be rented to locals or graduates who are unemployed but trained in catering.
This idea will formalise the existing initiative where caterers are allowed to sell food in government buildings.
There are many government buildings such as Rural Administration Centres that are found in many peri-urban centres that should dedicate
This will reduce the amount of time civil servants walk to buy food at nearby stores, or malls and hopefully improve productivity in the long run.
There is urgent need for the government to engage the private sector in many aspects to realise economic growth and prosperity for all.
It has been proven that Public Private Partnerships produce good outcomes because the private sector is more productive and good at saving costs than the government.
The private sector also wants to realise the value for their investment and therefore ensure that infrastructure is always in good condition and that faults are attended to within shortest possible time.
When Botswana Telecommunications Corporation was under government control, it took several months for customers to connect landlines to their residences or businesses, but that has since changed and it takes a few days for that transaction, thanks to privatisation.
Lastly, the government should liberalise other sectors of the economy such as air transport to allow for competition, more players and job creation.
“The best partnerships aren’t dependent on a mere common goal but on a shared path of equality, desire, and no small amount of passion.”
- Sarah MacLean