The San Research Centre is a multidisciplinary research centre, and will welcome participation from researchers with demonstrated interest in San research within the University of Botswana, SADC region and internationally. The idea is to further develop research and consolidate research expertise in this area with a view to informing stakeholders about San culture, socio-economic and political issues.
The Centre will build on and expand current programmes, and will act as an umbrella for current and new initiatives. Consistent with the vision, mission and values of the University of Botswana, the Centre has the following objectives:
- To promote and develop research capacity and competence among University staff and students;
- To develop local scientific knowledge and expertise on the San;
- To pursue innovative strategies for promoting San access to higher education and capacity building;
- To inform Government policy on San development through research in the above focus areas;
- To secure research funding through existing and new links in order to make the Centre financially self-sufficient and sustainable;
- To facilitate San self-representation and choices in development. These objectives will be achieved through the following activities:
As an interdisciplinary centre for information and outreach, the Centre will be the main point of contact between the University of Botswana and individuals and institutions that seek information on UB research related to San issues. Activities will include seminars, workshops and short term courses on San Studies.
The Centre will support teaching in the different departments and faculties by developing appropriate teaching materials focusing on San and other minorities’ issues. Relevant disciplines will be Education, Language, Linguistics, Culture, History, Archaeology, Sociology, Social Anthropology, Social Work, Health, Law, Economics, Populations Studies, Information Technology, Environmental Sciences and Natural Resources Management, Accountancy and Business Administration.
The Centre will initiate and coordinate research and development projects and facilitate research synergies, including international collaboration. Such projects can be regulated under the Centre Board.
Through education and outreach activities the Centre will promote San communities’ capacity building.
Currently the following ongoing projects are set to fall within the Centre structure:
- San Youth Capacity Building – Formerly sponsored by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through Norwegian Church Aid for a period of five plus one years (2005-2010).
- SPERA- Support Programme for Education in Remote Areas. Still in the inception stage
- Collaboration Agreements with the Universities of Tromsø (Department of Social Anthropology and the Centre for Sámi Studies) and the University of the Free State (Unit for Khoe and San Studies), recognising the mutual benefits to be gained through cooperation to promote scholarly activities and international understanding.