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UB, BGI partner for innovative research

Botswana Geosciences Institute (BGI) and the country‘s premier institution of learning, University of Botswana (UB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate a collaborative working relationship towards fulfilling their mandates.

At a signing ceremony held in Lobatse recently, it was announced that the purpose of the MoU is to foster a partnership geared towards seeing the two organisations conducting innovate and impactful research that can address the needs of different stakeholders and promote the growth of technical expertise in Botswana. Furthermore the two organisations seek to promote stakeholders engagement in areas of training, consulting and research for the benefit of Batswana, by promoting use of technology on mineral resources exploration as well involving technical expertise that a housed by both BGI and UB in formulating policy frameworks towards transformation of Botswana economy. 

Speaking at the signing ceremony BGI Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tiyapo Ngwisanyi said one of the urgent areas earmarked as a start point for collaboration as one of the MoU deliverables is the provision of geosciences information to the two institutions clients throughout the world. “With Botswana history of over  75 years in  collecting  of geosciences data, it is evident that these data is yet to be properly  documented and managed, this requires specific set of skills in data mining, perhaps this will form the first project specifics in our  agreement” he said.

Ngwisanyi said BGI as a technical expertise organisation is looking at leveraging on UB’s academia knowledge to document and properly manage the acquired geosciences data. “We deal with mineral exploration and the composition of the earth, UB has the expertise in terms of modelling that which BGI can use, if we complement each other we can give products and services that are of high standards, that our communities and customers can benefits on,” he said 

Furthermore it was noted that UB can use the relationship to better support their mandate of developing fully baked and globally competitive and industry ready graduates. “We can be of service to University of Botswana’s mandate by influencing what UB delivers to the industry, because we want students that are industry ready which in turn benefits our economy” added BGI chief. For his part UB Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris said the research that academic institutions do must have societal impact.

“Whatever we do must be based on the needs of these stakeholders that we work with as an institution of learning, most of the time universities are taken to task, questioned on what value they are adding to the economy, visions and aspiration of a country,” he said explaining that UB was not an exception. “Those are the questions that we also as University of Botswana are asked as the highest institution of learning in the land, to say what contribution are we bringing? What return of investment are we bringing to the table as the host of premier academic and research minds? So we are saying let’s change course and make sure that whatever we do has impact on the livelihoods of our people,” Norris argued. 

The UB provost observed that the relationship between his institution and BGI will stand to benefit the former more as students are expected to be the main beneficiary. “This will be a reciprocal collaboration, however it stands to benefit us more as our students will leverage on the technical expertise provided by BGI,” Norris contended. UB is of the view that for a very long time earth sciences have been a host of Botswana’s economic nucleus in the area of mining and mineral exploration, which contributed significantly to the country revenue and development. “Looking at our national aspiration, in terms of National Development Plan 11 & 12 we are looking into vision 2036 and this vision speaks to complete transformation of  our economy  from a resource base to a knowledge based with more diversified revenue streams  increased job creation output,” he said.

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Food prices continue to rise, but at a slower rate

28th November 2022

Prices for cereals or staple foods in Botswana and other Southern African countries continue to rise at a slower pace, following trends in the global markets, according to the latest November 2022 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

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Still doing business the old way?

18th November 2022

It’s time to get business done better with MTN Business Botswana’s ICT Solutions.

Running a digital businessMTN Business Solutions Botswana, popularly known as MTN Business is an Internet Service Provider. We are a subsidiary of MTN Group Limited, a multinational telecommunications Group headquartered in South Africa, which operates in 19 markets across Africa and the Middle East.

More and more, clients are looking for ways to keep their staff productive in a dynamically changing business environment. Whether your people are working from home, the office or abroad, there is a growing recognition that digitising your operations can offer unprecedented commercial value in flexibility, productivity and growth. This new, digital reality means that it is more important than ever to stay agile – if there is anything that can slow a business down, it is being burdened by othatld technology.

Having made substantial investments in fibre technology, high-speed terrestrial and undersea networks and new frequency spectrum across the markets wherein it operates, MTN is perfectly positioned to respond to this shift in the market.

A few years ago, MTN also made the decision to build an IP capable radio network for its mobile services, giving its core network the ability to seamlessly integrate with enterprise IP networks. The mobile towers deliver services to enterprise clients absolutely anywhere it has a network, shortening the last mile and removing complexity and cost.

Now there is increasing demand from clients to connect their remote sites in all areas, including rural and semi- rural. MTN has assisted clients with overcoming this connectivity hurdle, enabling their staff to get the job done wherever they are.
MTN’s evolution

For MTN, the focus has shifted from just being a core telecommunications services provider, towards also becoming a technology solutions provider. The service offering now also includes Unified Communications, Data Hosting and Cloud Solutions, Security-As-A-Service and Managed Network Services. The scope has changed to being client and industry specific, so the requirements and service portfolio vary from one client to the next. The expectation is that a company like MTN must respond to these challenges, helping clients to get business done better as they shift from old to new technologies.

As many businesses continue to grapple with a digitally dynamic world, they face new challenges that have to be solved. This environment will benefit those that are more digitally enabled and agile. It is a brave new world that will favour online over on-site, wireless over wired and fluid over formulaic. Businesses will seek out partners and suppliers that are every bit as flexible and forward-looking as they are.
Ultimately, clients need partners like MTN Business that will invest in infrastructure, deliver the services they require, have market credibility, are financially sound and have a long-term commitment to their market presence.

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BIE to vitalize the Dignity of Engineers

9th November 2022

Botswana Institution Of Engineers (BIE), has last week hosted a gala dinner in  which they appreciated engineers who worked tirelessly and with dedication for 10 years from 1983 to steer the BIE to its current status.

The event that was held at the Phakalane Golf Estate had brought together young, experienced and veteran engineers and was held under the theme “Vitalize the dignity and eminence of all professional engineers”.

Explaining the theme, the institution’s treasurer, Thanabalasingam Raveendran said that engineers were looked upon reverentially with respect as the educated but with time it seems to have deteriorated. He indicated that there is a need to change the narrative by all means.

“The BIE exists for the welfare and the betterment of us Botswana engineers, we need to recognize specialised units within our Institution. We Engineers strongly believe in Engineers make it happen” Raveendran said.

He indicated that under the theme they appeal to all engineers to energize, to attain quality of being worthy of honour and respect and to achieve recognized superiority amongst the Society.

Raveendran stated that engineers need to ensure their end product is of good quality satisfying the end users expectations and engineers must be honest in their work.

“Approximately 8000 engineers registered with Engineering Regulatory Board (ERB) are not members of the BIE, engineers need to make every effort to recruit them to BIE” he said.

He alluded that BIE being a society, it currently needs to upgrade itself at par with professional institutions elsewhere like the UK and USA.

He further stated that BIE has to have engineering units of specialised disciplines like Civil/Mechanical/electrical etc

“As President Masisi indicated in his inaugural speech, the young people, who make 60 percent of the population of this country, are the future leaders and therefore investing in them is building the bridge to the future” said Raveendran

Kandima indicated that BIE has a memorandum of Understanding with Engineers Registration Board (ERB), where BIE is a recognised provider of CPD training, mentorship programmes and more importantly IPD undertaking to upgrade the skills and know-how of our engineers.

“For us to achieve our mandate and make worthwhile changes to engineering in Botswana, we have to be totally focused and act with intent” said Kandima.

Furthermore, Stephen Williams, past president of the BIE from 1986-1988 told the engineers that  the BIE provides a fertile environment where they can meet, share ideas and grow professionally.

“The BIE is also a nesting place for graduate engineers to learn from their peers and seniors, it also cater for engineering technicians and technologists and so nobody in the technology field is left out” he said.

He further indicated that Botswana Government provides a conductive environment for growth of engineering professionals.

“It must be stated that the Botswana Government recognises the existence of BIE and it can further be stated that the government enables ERB to carry out its mandate as a regulator of engineering professionals” said Williams

He plead with engineering companies to recognize and support BIE as it is the only source of engineering personnel’s for various Industries .

Furthermore, when giving his farewell speech, Michael Pinard , a past president of the institution  said how they are viewed as engineers by the general public might be due to some lack of appreciation as to exactly what role they play in the development of the country.

“The BIE slogan is aptly coined-Engineers make it happen, in other words, what man dreams engineers create” Said Pinard.

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