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Starlink Secures Operational License in Botswana Following Meeting with President Masisi

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Botswana has granted an operating license to Starlink, the satellite internet service owned by SpaceX, three weeks after a government delegation met with the SpaceX team in the US.

This licensing comes three months after the Botswana Communications and Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) initially rejected Starlink’s operating license application due to missing information. Subsequently, the importation, sale, and use of Starlink were banned.

The turnaround to grant Starlink a license this week follows a meeting between the SpaceX team and President Mokgweetsi in the US at the Africa-US Business Forum in Dallas, Texas.

After meeting with SpaceX, President Masisi swiftly decided to approve the licensing of Starlink in the country. He instructed the regulator to expedite Starlink’s license application within two weeks.

Botswana has become the latest southern African nation to license Starlink, following Zimbabwe, which approved the service last Friday. President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe also directed the regulator to hasten the application process.

By licensing Starlink, Botswana aims to bridge the connectivity gap in its 2.6 million population. Despite having an internet penetration rate of 87%, the country currently faces some of the highest data prices in Africa.

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