GABORONE, Botswana, April 2020/ — In the wake of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, Batswana have demonstrated resilience, grit and the capacity to innovate during these trying times, reads a media communique from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). The recent announcements by the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST), the University of Botswana and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) spring to mind.
“In conjunction with Botswana Defence Force (BDF), BIUST has designed a Drone Sprayer to be used to disinfect the air of open public spaces, as a way of curbing the spread of the virus. The University of Botswana has developed face shields which will be donated to Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital frontline workers this week. Further, the University of Botswana is prototyping a ventilator hood medical device that enables the increase of air pressure into the hood/helmet thus help to keep a patient’s airway and lungs open and, in the process, improving oxygen levels. For its part, and in aid of facilitating extreme social distancing for its customers, CEDA has initiated a total online platform for receiving applications from clients and prospective clients. The online platform has been well received as loans totalling P 4.8 million has been processed through this platform.”
The ruling party says the applaudable developments are not only a demonstration of innovation at play but are also a clear indicator of the capabilities of this nation to implement 4IR technologies and trends, in line with the agenda of Vision 2036, NDP 11 and African Union Agenda 2063. These innovations are key enablers for wealth and job creation for Batswana at home and in the diaspora as products of a knowledge-based economy as spearheaded by His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi E. K Masisi.
Resonating with the promise made by the BDP led government, as articulated in our 2019 Elections manifesto – to transform Botswana into a knowledge-based economy through partnerships with industry leaders and academic institutions – developments by BIUST, UB and CEDA lay true the benefits that the BDP envisaged knowledge economy can deliver for and to Botswana. And we remain faithful and trustful that there will be more in the relentless drive to advance and protect the lives of Batswana.
As the fight against the novel corona virus continues, we are all urged to do our part in ensuring that we prevent the spread. Distressing as it has been, we should also be alive to the fact that there are some lessons to be learnt that should help humankind develop even further, post the pandemic.
Indeed, every dark cloud has a silver lining and to efforts thus far made by these institutions we say kudos!