UB and BVI Management Meet to Strengthen Collaboration and Stakeholder Relationship

UB-BVI1University of Botswana Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris, recently met with Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI) Managing Director, Mr Andrew Madeswi, to carve more areas for research collaborations and strengthen the relationship between their two institutions.

The meeting was held in the University of Botswana Council Chamber during which Professor Norris outlined the University’s new strategy which, among other, underlines strengthening of stakeholder relationships and collaborations as critical towards institutional success. He further underscored the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach towards solving societal challenges.

In that regard, the Vice Chancellor said the University of Botswana was on a trajectory of intensifying research development and innovation in collaboration with other research institutions such as BVI to offset the challenges the country was facing especially in this era of COVID-19 and post the pandemic.

Professor Norris further emphasised the need for the University of Botswana to work with industry, noting that with BVI’s expertise in the development of livestock vaccine, the two institutions could complement each other in the development of human vaccines and other pharmaceutical products. He observed that one of the potential areas they could explore together was the development of indigenous medicines which they could ultimately turn into commercial products.

In response, Mr Madeswi expressed the same sentiments with Professor David Norris and emphasised the importance of collaborative research in solving societal problems and growing the industry. Regarding indigenous medicines, Mr Madeswi regretted that they had not been widely appreciated because of stigma but expressed hope that the collaboration between UB and BVI would demystifies perceptions surrounding indigenous products.

He mentioned that BVI was established at the height of the outbreak of the Foot and Mouth Disease which ravaged the Beef industry in the 1960s hence it would be an interesting development if it were to transition into and incorporate production of human vaccine especially in the face of life-threatening diseases such as COVID-19.

Meanwhile, also present at the meeting were Acting Deputy Vice Chancellors for Academic Affairs, Professor Happy Siphambe and for Finance and Administration, Mr Lopang Mosupi, Director of Public Affairs, Mrs Mhitshane Reetsang and Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor, Mr Moeng Segaetsho.

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