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Harnessing Innovation to improve project implementation

The nation awaits completion of the Botswana Innovation Hub’s acclaimed central iconic building. The magnificent, state-of-the-art, iconic masterpiece of architecture is a world class building that provides modern high quality premises that are easily adaptable with plug and play shared facilities within the Botswana Innovation Hub Science and Technology Park.

The multi-use building boasts unfurnished office space, laboratories and an array of shared amenities such as meeting, board and training rooms, restaurants, coffee shops, gyms and wellness centers, postal services, banking and ATM services, and many other complementary services that provide work, live and play type of environment.


Included in the mix of offerings is uninterrupted water, electricity and data connections as well as services such as common area cleaning, maintenance, security, and administration within a secure business and networking environment.
Designed by New York based ShoP Architecture, the central buildings are a prestigious, stately, iconic work of genius whose designs won the 2013 Autodesk Design Awards. The building is regarded as one of Africa’s pioneering ‘green’ structures.


According to the World Green Building Council, “Green building (also known as green construction or sustainable building) refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building’s life cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.”


This requires close cooperation of the design team, the architects, the engineers, and the client at all project stages. The Green Building practice adopted in the design and construction of the Icon Building expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort.  


One of the critical roles of a science and technology park is to foster an innovation ecosystem through technology transfer. Technology transfer refers to, “the process of transferring skills, knowledge, technologies, methods of manufacturing, samples of manufacturing and facilities among governments or universities and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of users who can then further develop and exploit the technology into new products, processes, applications, materials or services.”

Invariably, technology transfer is an integral part of the development of advanced science and technology innovation capital and activities at the Botswana Innovation Hub Science and Technology Park. The process that calls for, “investment in dynamic capabilities, particularly those that shape the ability of national stakeholders to uptake and absorb technologies and make improvements in line with local circumstances,” is imbedded in the parks design, construction and operation.   


ShoP Architects’ resident architect, Adam Koogler says, “Technology Transfer is infused at all stages of development of the Botswana Innovation Hub Science and Technology Park from design to construction through to the operation of the Science and Technology Park.”


He explains that one of the cutting edge technologies that is being used by SHoP Architecture in the design ingenuity and construction of the high-tech Icon Building is Virtual Design and Construction (VDC).   


“VDC is the management of integrated multi-disciplinary performance models of design-construction projects, including the product, work processes and organization of the design – construction – operation team in order to support explicit and public business objectives,” he said.


The VDC technology was demonstrated to the Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Honourable Nonofo Molefi during his ongoing crusade to monitor government projects to ensure they are delivered on time, within budget and in approved specifications.


Speaking during his recent tour of the Botswana Innovation Hub Science and Technology, Park, Hon. Molefi said it is important for government to benefit from this cutting edge technology deployed in the design and construction of the country’s first science and technology park.


The Minister said government officers must be trained in the use of the VDC software in order to improve their skills and competencies and their management and execution of government projects. “The technology will go a long way in monitoring projects to ensure buildings are built to the correct specs to contain costs and meet scheduled targets every step of the way,” he said.


The Minister encouraged the adoption of technologies that will help avert whatever impediments to progress that might arise and help government officers to move swiftly to address these. He cautioned against the adoption of moribund technology. “As government we are obliged to protect the country from being laden with technology that will be obsolete in the near future,” he warned.  


Construction of the Icon Building is scheduled for completion in 2016 in line to be commissioned as part of the flagship projects that celebrate Botswana’s 50th anniversary of independence.

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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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