University of Botswana has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Botswana Council of Non Governmental Organisations (BOCONGO) to establish and maintain a partnership focused on implementing collaborative activities that contribute towards national development.
The objective of the MoU is to focus on activities that contribute towards national development anchored on National Development Plans, Vision 2036, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and other key strategic documents. Through the MoU UB and BOCONGO will, among others, be able to interrogate existing polices and create or strengthen platforms for policy research, advocacy and dialogue as well as encourage creative and innovative use of research and technology.
Speaking at the signing ceremony on February 25, 2021 Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris, reiterated the importance of research in advancing an impactful national development agenda. Professor Norris said it was only through research that government could add value and translate various policy documents into tangible development projects.
Giving an overview of the MoU, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Professor David Sebudubudu, said BOCONGO made the right choice by choosing UB as a partner through which to advance its mandate in national development. Professor Sebudubudu said the MoU was coming at a critical time when UB was implementing a new strategy whose objective was, among others, to be an engaged university. As such the university was making a commitment to work with BOCONGO to drive implementation of various national policies and domestication of international instruments.
BOCONGO Executive Director, Mr Monametsi Sokwe explained that the MoU presented the civil society movement with opportunities to exploit the fourth industrial revolution for the benefit of the country. Mr Sokwe observed that it was imperative for institutions like the University of Botswana to work together with the civil society movement as a cohesive force to bring about change.
He said Batswana looked up to the civil society movement and the University of Botswana to come together as thought leaders to chart the way forward besides playing a proactive role in transforming and moving the country forward. Mr Sokwe added that UB had a lot to offer in terms of scholarly research and capacity building that the civil society movement could tap into while on the other hand the latter could play a key role in project management.
BOCONGO Board Member, Mr Robert Letsatsi, underscored the need to reduce the time it took to transfer new knowledge to society and to provide access to such knowledge to make sure it was a useful as it was possible. Giving a vote of thanks, Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Professor Happy Siphambe, emphasised the need to capacitate and strengthen civil society.