The donation of a microscope and diamond kimberlite core samples that the Department of Geology recently received from Sekaka Diamonds, will go a long way in enhancing the university of Botswana’s strategic drive of becoming a research intensive institution of higher learning.
Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Professor Happy Siphambe, said this during a short ceremony held at the Department of Geology last week to receive the donation. Professor Siphambe said the equipment and teaching material would help drive the new University of Botswana strategic plan which emphasised three critical areas of research, relevant teaching and stakeholder engagement. He added that the strategy also placed high premium on the university working with industry to improve the level of teaching and learning hence assured Sekaka Diamonds that their donation would be put to good use.
Head of the Department of Geology, Dr Kebabonye Laletsang, thanked Sekaka Diamonds for the donation because it would help address shortage of equipment and teaching materials in the department. Dr Laletsang said the company responded to their call after they went around looking for samples, which they could not get from big diamond industry players. He was also thankful that Sekaka Diamonds representative, Mr Leano Kotlhao who is Acting Manager for Exploration, was a UB alumni having graduated with a Bachelor of Physics in 1997.
Responding, Mr Kotlhao decried the lack of literature on Botswana’s diamonds industry notwithstanding that the country was the largest producer of diamonds. As such, Mr Kotlhao said the donation would help bridge this gap because the microscope and kimberlite samples would become handy in research and development of literature.
Dean of the Faculty of Science, Professor Julius Atlhopheng, commended the Department of Geology for professional engagement with industry in that it would contribute towards building a better Botswana. Professor Atlhopheng said as the Faculty of Science they were keen on developing scientific knowledge and solutions for Batswana besides instilling a mindset of entrepreneurship among science graduates. However, he observed that such was only possible with the University of Botswana building partnerships, linkages and collaborations with industry.
Consequently, he noted that in line with the new and previous UB strategic plans, the Department of Geology, among others, had been able to organise international conferences, thus investing in the future for Batswana.