The Chairperson of the Alumni of the University of Botswana Development (ALUBDEV) Trust, Dr Joseph Tsonope, has applauded the University of Botswana management for the new strategy to transform the university into a research oriented and entrepreneurial institution of higher learning.
Dr Tsonope was speaking at a short ceremony organised by the University of Botswana on June 23, 2020 to appreciate a donation of a consignment of paints to refurbish student residences. He said the new strategy demonstrated a positive thinking and outlook on the part of the UB management to position the university at the centre of the country’s development agenda.
He was reacting to Director of the Office of Research and Development, Professor Grahamn Hall’s introductory remarks that the university had received P10 million in research funding in the last 12 months besides P4 million for tenders and consultancies.
Thus, research has been identified as one of the central pillars of the new strategy given the university also has to raise third stream income for self-sustenance. Dr Tsonope underscored the importance third stream income and commended the Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris, for a fresh thinking in the management of the university.
He expressed nostalgia and strong affinity for the University of Botswana, noting that as part of the alumni they felt compelled to give back and to appreciate their role towards making the university a self-sustaining institution.
“I don’t know whether to shed a tear. I am deeply touched and that is why we keep coming back,” said Dr Tsonope as he reminisced about the UB management meetings he used to attend in the room where the appreciation ceremony was held. He implored donors to adopt student hostels to help in maintenance of facilities to create an environment conducive for learning.
Earlier on, Professor Norris, had commended the ALUBDEV Trust for the tremendous work it had done to help with infrastructural development on campus. However, Professor Norris decried the state of disrepair of some facilities especially the water infrastructure which he said it was too old and needed replacement. Consequently, he said the university would need millions to repair all its infrastructure.
Meanwhile, ALUBDEV Trust was founded in 1993 under a notarial deed of trust with the aim, inter alia, promoting education in Botswana in general, and to assist the University of Botswana in the provision of education in particular. It was established following a major fund-raising drive aimed at alleviating student accommodation needs of UB students on campus.
The fund-raising effort resulted with the construction of a P3.5 million hostel 476 on campus and an adjoining janitor’s house. The names of the fund- raising committee members are duly recognised on the plaque in front of the hostel as follows:
C.M. Lekaukau (Chairman); ETA Botlhole; M.J. Mbaakanyi; M.J. Melamu; T.D. Mokaila; R. Monau; S.N. Moribame; E.S. Seloilwe; L.L. Setshwaelo; S.S. Sharma; M.O. Tamasiga; J.N. Tsonope, with the blessing of Vice Chancellor T. Tlou. The hostel was inaugurated by Julian Ogilvie Thompson (Chairman of Debswana Company (PTY) LTD and De Beers Centenary A.C. on the 29th March 1993.
ALUBDEV Trust membership comprises: Dr. Joseph Tsonope (Chairperson); Prof. E. Seloilwe (Deputy Chairperson); Dr. Burton Mguni (Treasurer); Mr. Mphoeng Tamasiga (Member); Prof. N. Seboni (Secretary).
The Trust maintains its commitment by diversifying its portfolio including investment on the stock exchange. The Trust built a further five houses in Gaborone West area for purposes of housing junior members of staff at the University.