Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) is delighted to announce that it has sponsored 2 students from Botswana International University of Science & Technology (BIUST) to attend a 4-day Makeathon challenge in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain from the 20 to 23 February 2019.
Thabo Malete and Zimele Gwebeu, 5th Year Mechatronics Engineering students, will join more than 300 students from 63 universities of different countries to participate in the Makeathon challenge. This opportunity for participation came about as a result of collaboration between BIH and Germany’s Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) to give local tertiary students studying hardware, electronics, mechanics, mechatronics and software engineering global exposure in a makeathon activity.
A makeathon concept has attracted considerable international interest in recent years. The basic idea is to mix passionate designers, creators and developers from different fields and provide an environment such as innovation labs where they can transform their ideas into functioning prototypes for the chance to bring the product to market.
The theme of the makeathon is focused around Smart Home, Smart Mobility, Green Energy, Autonomous driving, Connected Systems and Smart Farming. The vision is to explore ideas for Smart Green technologies that are setting new standards in time and cost efficiencies in international markets.
BIH CEO Alan Boshwaen said “We are glad to have partnered with VDMA who have vast experience in running makethon activities. We hope to learn and possibly adopt the makeathon concept to our environment as a catalyst for driving the culture of innovation. I challenge our students to explore, exchange skills and come back to further create and inspire change”. BIH continuously explore university affiliations so that knowledge can be shared, innovation promoted, and research outcomes progressed to viable commercial products.
Late last year, BIH ran a competition inviting all potential tertiary students to apply for participation in the Makeathon. Students from BIUST, University of Botswana and New Era entered the competition. Thabo and Zimele emerged winners based on their candidacy matching the makeathon criteria.
“The quality of the education BIUST students get is apparent in the success of Malete & Gwebeu on this highly rated international competition. BIUST students have been very successful in various international venues and I have all the confidence and faith that they will continue to so to highlight the superior education they have been afforded with,” said Distinguished Professor Dennis Siginer, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs.
“I always liked the idea of smart machines that surpass human intelligence to be used as a tool for augmenting our capabilities and making life easier and more productive.” said Malete. Gwebu attributes his success to BIUST’s ability to equip its students with knowledge and skills to compete globally.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.