A Glimpse into Botswana’s AI Readiness Landscape





artificial intelligence, AI Readiness, Botswana, Digital Transformation, Maturity Level


This study seeks to provide insights into Botswana’s AI readiness landscape. It was achieved by analysing secondary data from the Oxford Insights 2022- Government AI Readiness Index (AIRI). According to the AIRI, Botswana is in position 98, out of 181 countries surveyed. The major drawbacks to successful AI adoption were; a lack of AI strategy, limited capacity to support change, an immature technology sector incapable of supporting innovation, inadequate skills to support AI development, insufficient technological infrastructure to support AI, insufficient data to train AI models, and there are few use cases identified in the public sector. Despite these hurdles, the country is putting in efforts to transform digitally, and there are opportunities for improvement. The country is faring similarly, or even better than, regional peers but is lagging behind global peers in the upper middle-income group. Consequently, it is recommended that the government should start by developing an AI strategy to set the vision for AI adoption.


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Author Biographies

Mrs. Liah Shonhe, School of Economic & Management, Dalian University of Technology

Liah Shonhe is a records and information manager. Currently, she is a PhD candidate at Dalian University of Technology. She holds a Master's Degree in Archives and Records Management and a Bachelor’s Degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Botswana. Her research interests are; artificial intelligence (AI) technology adoption, knowledge and information management, ICTs & education, digital libraries, staff motivation, organizational culture, open data sharing, professional identity, and change management. Her scholarly work has been presented in professional conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. Regarding work experience, Liah has worked as a teaching assistant at the University of Botswana for four academic years in the Department of Library and Information Studies and for one academic year at the Communication and Study Skills Unit. She was an external consultant (lecturer) at the Institute of Development Management from 2019 to 2022. Liah has been the president of the Records and Information Association in Botswana from 2018–2022, and she also participates in charity work via the Botswana Inner Wheel Club. Liah is also an activist dedicated to combating child marriage and advocating for the education of girls, especially within the Zezuru tribe. She passionately works towards raising awareness about the harmful impacts of child marriage on young girls and the importance of empowering them through education.

Dr. Mavis Kolobe, Dept. of Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana

Mavis Kolobe is an economist and avid researcher. She is currently a University of Botswana economics lecturer. She received her PhD from the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) in Beijing, China. She has experience in multiple fields, including research, teaching, and consulting. Her research mainly focuses on globalisation, social capital, and socioeconomic issues like unemployment, inequality, and poverty. Her scholarly work has been published in peer-reviewed journals. As a consultant, she did research for the Botswana government and UNFPA-Botswana. She was a member of a group that received study funding from the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP) in 2018–2020 to localise the SDGs for Botswana and investigate the factors that affect youth unemployment and the transition to the Botswana labour market. Mavis is also involved in volunteer work and has held positions of leadership in several of the organisations with which she is affiliated. She is presently the Vice President for Southern Africa for the Organisation of African Academic Doctors (OAAD).




How to Cite

Shonhe, L., & Kolobe, M. (2023). A Glimpse into Botswana’s AI Readiness Landscape. JeDEM - EJournal of EDemocracy and Open Government, 15(2), 37–67. https://doi.org/10.29379/jedem.v15i2.812



Research Papers