Botswana Vaccine Institution (BVI) has put the foot on the pedal to accelerate research and innovation as they envision to have four new antigens in their bank by the year 2025.
The institution launched its five year transformational strategy dubbed “Le pelong ya Moleepi” on Wednesday this week which is, a move that has been hailed by many within the agricultural and health sector. BVI board chairperson Mpho Mphafe-Fish revealed that this is part of BVI’s long term strategic goal for carrying out its mission of controlling infectious diseases through the provision of appropriate vaccines.
“Our Strategy has taken into account Vision 2036, The Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security’s Strategy, the Government’s re-set agenda, as well as various Continental Strategies and Policies,” she said. According to Mphafe-Fish, the strategic plan is driven by two main strategic goals. “Our ‘’Four for Forty’’ whose aim is to reduce our over reliance on Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and have four products contributing 40% to our sales revenue by 2025. I wish to emphasize that this does not mean we will abandon FMD, it will continue to be our premier offering and we have significant market expansion plans, as the World turns to Africa to feed its ever-growing population.”
She continued, “Our second strategic goal is to build Africa’s largest antigen/vaccine Bank. Delivery of vaccines under emergency can save or destroy an industry/sector. Naturally vaccine production is a process that takes time, therefore the ability to respond to emergencies is critical for the efficient protection of these sectors, both livestock and human. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has aptly shown that the World can no longer wait for vaccine manufacturer’s need to have mechanisms that expedite delivery of vaccines, as delays can have devastating effects.”
BVI which is one of the few self-funding government entities will see their strategy pinned on three areas of sustainable growth and profitability Investment and Innovation operational effectiveness and efficiency. Acting Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Beauty Manake also applauded the institution for this upward trajectory saying it also assist in national transformation plan. “This strategy will help in economic diversification and reduce dependence on diamonds, being competitive, productive and efficient and creating vibrant economy that is integrated into the global economy.”
The Minister of Justice, Machana Shamukuni says the search to appoint the Ombudsman and other critical heads of department is currently ongoing and the process is expected to be completed before end of the year.
The Ombudsman position fell vacant almost five months ago after Augustine Makgonatsotlhe was removed from the office and appointed as Ambassador to Kuwait.
Two Batswana nationals have been arrested in Zimbabwe for illegal trade in mercury. The duo is being held together with a Zimbabwean national who is being questioned by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
This publication understands that the suspects who are aged between 39 and 56 years hail from Tutume and Selebi-Phikwe. At the time of the arrest, they were found in possession of a pistol, bomb motor and four live rounds. It is understood that the suspects told investigators during interrogation that the deadly substance has a lucrative market in Far East countries, where the demand is high. It is further reported that the suspects claimed that the mercury can be easily accessed in mines through middleman.
The Namibian Lives Matter Movement has weighed in on the looming border dispute between their country and Botswana.
Commenting on reports that the Namibian Parliament has dispatched a committee along the border between the two countries on fact finding mission, the group commended“the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, De-fence and Security that will engage community members living along the Namibia Botswana Border in conducting public hearings into acts of aggression and brutality by Botswana Defence (BDF) Force against innocent and unarmed Namibians.”