University of Botswana (UB) and Dichaba Consumer Electronics (DICE) on June 15, 2022 signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on ICT projects, student’s attachments and sharing of knowledge and expertise.
DICE is a company owned by the University of Botswana Alumni. It is, therefore, a 100 percent citizen-owned consumer electronics brand and manufacturer. DICE has evolved over the years to become one of the leading export oriented local company exporting to Uganda, Mozambique and South Africa. Through the MoU, DICE will work on customising and building relevant consumer electronics for UB, participate in relevant research carried by UB, and funds permitting even contribute financially towards some research projects. It will further avail factory plants (facilities) for training UB students. Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Mrs Motsei Rapelana, signed on behalf of UB while DICE Managing Director, Mr Thayaone signed on behalf of his company.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mrs Rapelana said the partnership came at a critical time when UB was turning a new leaf following the launch of a new strategy 2020-2029. She mentioned digitization as one of the pillars of the strategy especially given the advent of COVID-19 which necessitated acceleration of blended learning. She also viewed their partnership as an opportunity to fill gaps realised as the University transitioned into blended learning. Mrs Rapelana further highlighted stakeholder engagement as one of the pillars of the University of Botswana strategy in that it fosters industry linkages.
“The partnership will afford students the opportunity to feel the actual life of work, access DICE facilities through attachment and gain industry experience, “said Mrs Rapelana.
Furthermore, Mrs Rapelana said the partnership would not just benefit UB only but every Motswana as it aimed at digitization of the country. She said partnership with DICE would assist in addressing shortage of student accommodation on campus in that it would encourage remote leaning.
“Another exciting opportunity that the partnership with DICE will bring about includes refurbishing UB old computers to be donated to village primary schools which will be another mileage in fulfilling UNESCO mandate of living no child behind,” said Mrs Rapelana.
In response, Mr Dichaba appreciated UB management for the partnership aimed at creating more opportunities for student to share knowledge, skills and experience through attachments. He said DICE also held a series of public lectures on entrepreneurship to assist students willing to walk on the path of entrepreneurship.