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  • The advent of COVID-19 had the beneficial effect of fast-tracking the Authority’s programme to go digital.

GAZETTE REPORTER

The Gambling Authority is one of only a few corporations that have completely eliminated use of paper and embraced cloud services, thereby becoming more efficient and effective in delivering services to clientele.

Speaking to The Botswana Gazette in an interview this week, the CEO of the Gambling Authority, Thuli Johnson, said that they had embraced paperless operations from the onset and embedded it as a part of their strategy and culture.

“We wanted to run a high-tech company that doesn’t use paper but one that provides its services purely online,” Johnson said. “This strategy has brought tremendous benefits for our clients and stakeholders, particularly during the COVID-19 lockdown when many corporations had to work from home.”

By harnessing advances in digital technology, the Authority was able to temporarily decongest its offices and operate at optimal capacity during the COVID-19 lockdown. While others were struggling to deliver their products and services during the lockdown, the Gambling Authority was on a roll, announcing the winner of the much-awaited national lottery, transferring two casino licences and issuing another new casino licence.

“The move to digital also fast-tracked the Authority’s financial audits for the year 2019/20 and enabled us to deliver our financial reports timeously,” Johnson pointed out. “We also held all scheduled board, board committee, departmental and staff meetings during the COVID-19 lockdowns using digital platform.”

The Gambling Authority’s trailblazing digitisation drive has earned it the admiration of local and regional companies and set is as the benchmark for those who also seek to go paperless. So far, the Authority has hosted a delegation from Malawi that was on a bench marking trip to learn how to embrace and integrate technology into their operations.

“We continue to receive and share ideas with local organisations as well,” Johnson said.

Going paperless has many environmental benefits such as reducing carbon emission while operational benefits include cutting costs, higher productivity and streamlined processes. Johnson said the outbreak of COVID-19 had the beneficial effect of fast-tracking the Authority’s move to digital.

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