Chinese Ambassador, Dr Zhao Yanbo, has called on University of Botswana Students to explore business opportunities in China and leverage Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to penetrate its market.
Dr Zhao was addressing students during a public lecture under the topic “China Africa Cooperation in a New Era” at University of Botswana Library Auditorium on September 12, 2019.
He said ICT could help students to appreciate and participate in the digital economy as well as increase their business successes. The Ambassador said participating in the digital economy could further help the youth, small and medium enterprises benefit from world trade. This is because ICT fosters innovation in business, resulting in smart apps, improved data, faster processing and wider information distribution, he added.
Dr Zhao observed that Internet could also enhance quality of service and boost productivity. He noted China’s immense contribution to infrastructure development Africa. Such includes schools, roads and hospitals to improve the livelihood of the people.
Dr Zhao also highlighted China’s ICT giant, HUAWEI, as a major contributor to Africa-China cooperation in ICT.
“It is the second largest ICT giant and it operates in more than 170 countries and serves over three billion people,” said Dr Zhao. He reckoned that 70 per cent of network infrastructure in Africa was built by HUAWEI and in Botswana that included Mascom and Botswana Telecommunication Corporation. In Botswana, he noted, ICT benefited 86 per cent of the population.
The Ambassador said China contributed to the education sector not only in Botswana but Africa as whole. He said Chine has awarded 53 scholarships to Batswana to study in China this year. Dr Zhao said such underpinned the cooperation between China and Africa which was anchored on equality and guided by mutual respect, benefit and result.
Deputy Vice Chancellor Finance and Administration, Mr Lopang Mosupi, said UB has contributed immensely to the China-Africa partnership through student exchange programmes and the Confucius Institute of the University of Botswana, where it continued to promote Chinese language and culture. Mr Mosupi noted that research and scholarships should play an obligatory role of further strengthening the relationship and establish a long lasting friendship.
He said HUAWEI and UB had plans to set up an ICT academy and host ICT competitions to facilitate the development of ICT companies and create employment in Botswana.