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Botswana Innovation Hub to help transform economy

According to an article published on Daily News, development of Botswana Innovation Hub's (BIH) science and technology park is ongoing while construction of the major central buildings is earmarked for September.

Responding to a questionnaire, BIH chief executive officer, Mr Alan Boshwaen said they envisaged contributing to the country’s economic development and competitiveness by creating new scientific, technological and indigenous knowledge-based business opportunities.

"BIH is intended to play a key role in transforming Botswana in to a technology driven and knowledge based economy," he added.

Mr Boshwaen stated that the company would add value to existing companies, foster entrepreneurship and technology transfer as well as generate knowledge based jobs by promoting a culture of innovation and competitiveness of its associated companies and knowledge based business opportunities.

He explained that its mandate was to support new ventures and existing companies as well as attract innovative companies, universities, and research institutions and advanced training institutes to establish in the BIH.

BIH, he said, focused on key four areas of science and technology that could have a significant impact in economic diversification such as information and communications technology, clean technology, mining technologies and beneficiation, as well as biotechnology applied science.

He highlighted that BIH acted as a catalyst in the development of Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry and creation of an innovation supporting ecosystem in Botswana. The company, he said, supported the development of innovative local content, skills and job creation as part of the ICT development strategy and e-government.

In a quest to grow the industry, BIH was developing a cyber-city as part of the roll out of the science and technology park, he said. Clean technology entailed devising options for greener, cleaner, low-carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive businesses through adopted innovations and technologies.

Mr Boshwaen explained that through clean technology, BIH would have an opportunity to take the lead in facilitating sustainable business solutions to waste, water, energy and traffic problems in collaboration with academic researchers, leading private companies and government policy makers.

On the area of mining, he noted that due to decreasing efficiency levels and rising costs, it was necessary to optimise overall mining processes using innovative technologies and move more of the existing mineral endowment in to commercial operations efficiently. Furthermore, he stated that BIH aimed to attract high value innovative activities and technology transfer that added value to the minerals such as diamonds and coal.

This, he said, would evidently enhance efficiency in the mining sector and bolster the country’s revenue from minerals.

The buildings being constructed on the park include new cutting edge laboratory facilities for research and the areas of focus for the laboratories are center of excellence for HIV/AIDS which will be coordinated through the ministry of health and various and international researchers. END

Source : BOPA
Author : Thandy Tebogo

Location : Gaborone
Event : Interview

Date : Jul 25 Thu,2013

See article on Daily News

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