Gaborone, Botswana – Friday 05 April 2023: The University of Botswana has delivered yet another first following the launch of the country’s first University Technology Transfer Office and Innovation Centre today. The purpose of the centre is to strengthen research and development of innovative products with commercial value.
Located at the heart of the University of Botswana main campus, the facility was officially launched by the Vice President of the Republic of Botswana, His Honour Mr Slumber Tsogwane who also donated P20 000 towards the Centre. The University of Botswana Innovation Centre was established with the support of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Botswana.
Also in attendance to mark the momentous occasion were Hon. Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development, Mr Aubrey Lesaso, Hon. Minister of Communications, Knowledge and Technology, Mr Thulaganyo Segokgo, Hon. Minister of Entrepreneurship, Mr Karabo Gare and H.E. Mr Wang Xuefeng, Chinese Ambassador to Botswana. Mr Wang underlined the importance of the facility in helping to usher Botswana into a knowledge-based economy, and indeed the University’s role in championing applied research as an integral part of the country’s development agenda.
His Honour the Vice President expressed his gratitude at the development, noting in particular the remarkable strides the University and the country were poised to make. He observed that the Innovation Centre was more than just infrastructure, but a beacon of hope for innovation and research. In addition, he said it was an enabler that would positively impact Botswana’s economy besides enhancing its global competitiveness. “An Innovation Centre such as this is key to our national innovation ecosystem, and will undoubtedly complement our efforts to deliver sustainable economic growth and prosperity for Botswana and Batswana. It will furthermore, foster a culture of innovation, supporting entrepreneurship, propelling job creation, encouraging collaboration, and promoting technology skills transfer and commercialisation. These will, in turn, significantly impact the economy by developing new technologies, industries, and businesses that drive economic growth, create jobs, and enhance Botswana’s global competitiveness.”
Through the Innovation Centre, the University of Botswana intends to renergise and give further impetus to the country‘s agenda of strengthening the national innovation capacity framework and entrepreneurship development support. This will be achieved by, among others, adapting research concepts at their early stages into industrial products to feed into the national innovation ecosystem at a higher level.
The University of Botswana sees its role in the socio-economic development of Botswana as crucial, working to help address key challenges as well as to innovate for progress. This includes working to enhance access to ICT resources, and equipment, and building a network of experts in the local and global market. The issues outlined are also noted as obstacles in the
development of entrepreneurship and innovators which the Centre as a community technology transfer office, is expected to address. The University is, therefore, committed to creating an ecosystem for greater and more sustainable innovation as well as continuing to produce graduates that shape industries and societies.