Gaborone, Botswana – 19 August 2021: Letshego Botswana continues to lead with solutions that empower and improve lives of their communities. The microfinancer’s partnership with These Hands is to be showcased on the CNN programme Inside Africa – which is a platform dedicated to shedding new light on the African narrative and shifting it to one of innovation, transformation and wonder.
Thus far, this partnership has been effective in its aim to capacitate youth innovators within local rural communities to develop technologies through providing training and mentorship. Over the past 18 months, the partnership has trained a total of 69% youth and 30% women to co-create 107 working prototypes and have 19 projects immediately moving forward post training across Botswana and Namibia. These Hands also facilitated the development of 17 new post training projectsacross Botswana, Tanzania and Zambia.
Said Thabiso Mashaba, the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer for These Hands,“Letshego’s partnership has provided many young entrepreneurs the opportunity to grow and develop in their craft. In the current socio-economic climate that we find ourselves in, the development and support for Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) is imperative if we are to reach our National self-sufficiency goals. By carving out these spaces that allow for innovation, These Hands sought to partner with an organisation that aligned with these values and ambitions, and we have certainly found that in Letshego. While it is exciting to showcase some of the partnerships achievements on an international scale, I cannot wait for Batswana to see themselves reflected in such a positive and innovative light.”
To be filmed at Otse village at the These Hands Otse Chapter Workspace, viewers will receive the chance to see the great impact of this partnership. In a time when we are forced to remain apart, it provides great hope and inspiration to see how Batswana across various communities are coming together to uplift one another.
SAID LETSHEGO BOTSWANA CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, FERGUS FERGUSON, “WE ARE HONOURED TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO HIGHLIGHT THIS PARTNERSHIP, AND THE IMPACT IT HAS MADE THUS FAR FOR VARIOUS INDIVIUALS AND COMMUNITIES, ON SUCH AN INTERNATIONAL SCALE. WE ARE EAGER TO SHINE A SPOTLIGHT ON THE INNOVATIVENESS, RESOURCEFUL THINKING AND SHEER PERSERVERANCE OF THE PEOPLE OF BOTSWANA WHEN IT COMES TO TACKLING PROBLEMS AND FINDING CREATIVE SOLUTIONS TO THEM. WE HOPE THAT THIS CAN INSPIRE THE NEXT GENERATION OF LOCAL INNOVATORS.”
The partnership has fast tracked the setting up of 5 new rural innovation centres and 6 new chapters across various communities in Botswana, from Otse to Ranaka with the ability to empower themselves with solution through collaborations with one another. Since 2015, the youth and rural community in Botswana involved with These Hands have altogether produced 76 prototypes, with 26 of them going to market. In addition, they have explored 6 prototypes for potential utility model patents and commercialisation and reached at least 50,000 people across the country. Stay tuned and keep you eye on Inside Africa to watch how Batswana from across the country have been able to expand their horizons and rally together with the common aim of improving lives.