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ICT Fair billed for this month

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VINCENT MATUMO

The ICT Fair 2016 will be held at Ditshupo Hall, Fairgrounds Holdings on 23 March.
The technology showcase will entail targeted presentations where issues such as access and uptake of ICTs will be discussed and followed by an exhibition.
Organised by a local technology consultancy firm, Cast Iron, the Fair will run under the theme:  Converged ICT for a better economy and will be focussed on showcasing the realm of value add products and use of ICTs beyond just services such as internet and telephony.
The Managing Director at Cast Iron, Ambrose Makgonatsotlhe told Gazette Business that the Fair is focussed on showcasing ICTs at work and all the possibilities.
“If ICT converges, we will see better products with options such as Telemedicine, whereby diagnosis of diseases can be done remotely and prescriptions sent in the same way, and this would really help people in the rural areas,” said Makgonatsotlhe.
“Government has set infrastructure and now it is up to us to make technology work for us,” said Makgonatsotlhe, referring to the setting up of undersea cables such as WACS and EASsy
Makgonatsotlhe opines that Botswana is not as behind in the use of ICTs as it is thought in some quarters, because the main issue was access to internet, something that has now been dealt with.
“Botswana’s mobile phone penetration is the best in the world, at around 150 percent, and you can see that internet cafe’s are dead as a business concept because everybody has a smartphone to access the internet; there are also hotspots everywhere now making internet available everywhere,” he said.
“Internet prices have also been lowered significantly though they still need to come down even further; We need to come up with commercially viable business propositions because ICT space has many opportunities,” he said, adding that “we also need to start buying and supporting home-grown technologies.”
“There are more than 8000 ICT graduates who are unemployed and those alone mean that there is talent that is yet to be utilised.”
Mokganatsotlhe said that the age of the Internet of Things is here, already citing home or office automation where the environment can be controlled remotely to adjust air-conditioning and lighting, “Costs are still prohibitive but they will come down eventually,” he said.

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