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

The licensing comes three months after the Botswana Communications and Regulatory Authority (BOCRA), rejected Starlink’s operating license application citing missing information. The importation, sale and use of Starlink was banned shortly after.

This week’s turnaround to grant Starlink a licence follows a meeting between the SpaceX team and President Mokgweetsi in the US at the Africa-US Business Forum in Dallas,Texas.

“After the meeting [with SpaceX], I immediately decided to agree to the licensing of Starlink in the country,” President Masisi said. President Masisi said that he had given the regulator two weeks to fast-track Starlink’s license application following the meeting.

Botswana is the latest southern African nation to license Starlink following Zimbabwe which approved the service last week Friday. Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa ordered the country’s regulator to fast-track the application process.

By licensing Starlink, the country is looking to bridge the connectivity gap in the 2.6 million population nation. Currently, although the country has an internet penetration rate of 87%, it has one of the most expensive data prices in Africa.

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