The University of Botswana and the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding that is set to pave way for a knowledge based economy in Botswana.
The memorandum is centred around identifying and implementation of research projects in areas that are of mutual benefit to the two institutions such as medicine, natural resources, manufacturing, IT, and agribusinesses.
Speaking at the signing of the memorandum of understanding, the acting vice chancellor of the University of Botswana, Motsei Rapelana noted that SEZA had come to them at the appropriate time because UB is implementing its new strategy which emphasizes that the university has to focus on post graduates and research.
Rapelana notes that UB will be able to take part in a wide range of research throughout the eight economic zones that are in Botswana. Rapelana notes that the institution has identified zones like Pandamatenga which they can conduct research in.
“Apart from researches, the memorandum alludes to giving our students attachments in the companies that we are partnering in.” Rapelana explains that this will give the learners a wealth of exposure and show them how the world works.
Rapelana urges SEZA to publicise about the zones more and inform the researchers on the opportunities. She notes that SEZA will give the university the infrastructure and the academics are free to research in these areas.
The director, Investor Facilitation and Relations of SEZA, Neo Mahube explained that SEZA is very careful with who it enters into partnership with, therefore they were very meticulous in choosing the university.
Mahube notes that a lot of international companies that want to set up bases in Botswana are looking for professionals that can conduct researches for them. Mahube notes that investors are lured in by research into a country, therefore this partnership will enable Botswana’s economy to grow as foreign investors will come to the nation.
Mahube further explains that they will set up an implementation committte that will develop a robust implementation plan to facilitate the development and execution of a high value projects, and adding value to the government's research agenda.