A University of Botswana has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Botswana Geo-Science Institute (BGI) for the two institutions to collaborate and harness their resources to effectively deliver on their respective mandates.
Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris, signed for the University of Botswana while BGI Chief executive Officer, Mr Tiyapo Ngwisanyi, signed for his institution in Lobatse on April 11, 2019.
Areas identified include research collaboration towards joint projects and the development of appropriate technologies for the improvement of the quality of life of Batswana.
Further, the two institution agree to build and strengthen capacity through staff and student exchange programmes, attachments and mentorship in order to enhance skills and palette.
The MoU also seeks alignment of course content in identified areas in addition to commercialization of resulting technologies and promotion of technology transfer through collaboration with relevant agencies or partners.
It will also enhance capacities of the two institutions as they undertake collaborative research projects, and identifying commercialisation potential of associated research output.
Speaking at the event, Mr Ngwisanyi described the partnership with UB as logical in that BGI sought to establish partnerships with institutions that shared similar goals. As such UB was a critical partner given BGI’s deliverables were underpinned by research.
Besides, Mr Ngwisanyi acknowledged geoscientists UB provided for research hence BGI would benefit immensely from the partnership by working on specific areas to operationalise the MoU. He said one of the priority areas to operationalise the MoU was provision of geoscience information.
He expressed hope that current projects aimed fostering mineral exploration, assessing national geotechnical indicators in response to expanding towns and villages and monitoring for mitigation of geo-hazards will benefiting from the UB and BGI partnership.
In response, Professor Norris outlined the mandate of the University of Botswana in its mission to improve the socio-economic conditions of Batswana.
Professor Norris said the UB and BGI collaboration will help drive Vision 2036, whereby human capital development, research output and its impact, products and services that emerge, would contribute to transforming Botswana’s economy.
He said the era of working in silos was over hence the collaboration between UB and BGI was important in driving the two institutions towards complementing each other.
Dean of the Faculty of Science, Professor Julius Atlhopheng, spoke about the importance of data availability and digitalisation in driving processes for Botswana to achieve the Vision 2036 ideals.