There is a consensus that like food, shelter is a basic human right. A right does not however always translate to ownership. It is to this end that as part of their CSR strategy, the Botswana Innovation Hub team travelled to Khudumelapye to launch a housing prototype that is touted as being a possible breakthrough in Botswana’s housing challenge.
Botswana Innovation Hub has entered into an agreement with Refugee Housing Unit (RHU) AB which is a subsidiary of the non-profiting “Stiftelsen housing for all” setup and co-managed with the Ikea Foundation. The company develops and brings to the market alternative housing units that significantly improve the lives of people displaced by natural disasters as well as those living below the poverty line.
Said the Botswana Innovation Hub CEO Mr Alan Boshwaen, “In line with the country’s poverty alleviation programmes, we saw an opportunity to partner with this Swedish organisation to set up the first unit as a prototype, right here in Botswana.”
The prototype in its current phase is going through testing with the full scale production anticipated in the near future. Through this agreement, Botswana Innovation Hub intends to bring more value and provide opportunities for people in need, through housing solutions, which will result in changing their situation as well as securing the safety of family members. Botswana Innovation Hub has been tasked through the Clean-Tech Centre programme to choose a site in Botswana to locate the first prototype sustainable housing unit.
“Khudumelapye was found to be a suitable location for this trial due to amongst other reasons, environmental, climatic and solar irradiance characteristics. This housing unit that our team members erected will be used for data acquisition as part of a six month research trial to inform further development and design for the final units with potential for a wider coverage. We look forward to favourable results and we are excited at the prospect of rolling out this project nationwide”, concluded Mr Boshwaen.
The Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) is a product of the Botswana Excellence Strategy of 2008 which proposed a three-pronged national strategic goal; being economic diversification, job creation, and moving the country towards a knowledge-based economy. BIH – which is also aligned to the National Vision 2016’s pillar of achieving a prosperous, productive and innovative nation – was incorporated as a company to develop and operate Botswana’s first Science and Technology Park in Botswana.
The company is mandated to support new ventures and existing companies as well as attract companies, universities, research and advanced training institutes to establish in the Science and Technology Park. This is intended to help transform Botswana into a technology-driven and knowledge-based economy, by promoting a culture of innovation and competitiveness among its associated companies and knowledge-based institutions.
Botswana Innovation Hub has been incorporated as a company duly registered under the laws of Botswana to develop and manage Botswana’s first science and technology park. We contribute to the country’s economic development and competitiveness by creating new scientific, technological, and indigenous knowledge-based business opportunities. We add value to existing companies, foster entrepreneurship and technology transfer, generate knowledge-based jobs, and attract innovative companies and institutions to Botswana Innovation Hub.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.