October 10, 2019
BITRI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) this morning. The purpose of the MoU is to provide a basis for collaboration towards the fulfilment of the respective mandates of the two parties by engaging in collaborative projects. The Acting Commissioner General Mr Segolo Lekau hailed the day as historic and said it was long overdue. He noted that strategic collaborations with such organisations as BITRI are important because they create a platform to learn from each other and exchange ideas. He noted that BURS has a challenge with Batswana filing their tax returns on-line and hoped that BITRI would assist in this regard. He also talked about a project with BITRI in the Chobe District where they had requested for assistance with bat infestation in their offices. Even though the technology installed has not achieved the objective he said he believed that all is not lost as the technology could still be improved. He said the aim is to chase the bats away and avoid killing them. He said another area of potential collaboration is solar lighting in some of their offices that are facing electricity challenges. Mr Lekau also pointed out that as BURS they are thinking of coming up with a research and development arm, noting that it could also be a potential collaboration area.
In response the BITRI CEO Prof. Masupe congratulated BURS for a job well done in terms of e-tax filing but pointed out that towards the end of the tax filing season BURS switch boards are inundated with calls from clients who enquire about various issues. In this regard Prof. Masupe recommended the BITRI BOT, a technology that can answer the queries, thus relieving the switchboards. He said one area that BITRI has capacity in is data analytics which could help to determine how Botswana as a country is doing. Other projects Prof Masupe mentioned included the BITRI nanofiber material for protective clothing as well as the fleet management System. Prof Masupe said BITRI as a government arm would be happy if other government arms consult with them when in need of technology solutions instead of procuring expensive technologies from outside the country.