The University of Botswana has undertaken to assist Manyana Community Development Trust (MACODET) in its quest to turn Manyana Village into a model of smart village and showcase its rich tourism heritage. The University made this undertaking through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it signed with MACODET on September 1, 2021.
UB and MACODET's partnership which also includes the University of Toronto in Canada, therefore, aim to promote global partnerships towards establishing a sustainable community driven inclusive economic growth in collaboration with government and other development parnters.
Appreciating MACODET initiative, Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris, commended Kgosi Kebinatshwene Mosielele for being proactive and taking the initiative to mobilisse his tribe to explore practical solutions to the challenges they faced as a community. In addition, he said applauded Kgosi Mosielele for taking advantage of emerging opportinities to improve the quality of life and standard of living for his community.
Professor Norris said the partnership which would also be in collaboration with the University of Toronto, Canada will facilititate technologies that bring efficiency in planning and coordination of decision-making on any action they wished to undertake. He added that the smart village system also brought internal benefits such as better analysis and control of physical infrastructure, expansion of markets and give communities access to their administration. Professor Norris said MACODET had previously worked with anthropology experts at UB hence he was looking forward to entrenching the community's ability to access all other knowledge assets it required for broad based growth.
"Together we can offer a model for decentralisation and bottom-up economic growth. This is actually your university," observed Professor Norris.
In Response, Kgosi Mosielele acknowledged the benefits they as Manyana community would derive from their partnership with the University of Botswana. Kgosi Mosielele said Manyana village was endowed with a lot of historical artifacts that could be exploited for the benefit of both the community and the rest of the country.
He said their aim as MACODET was to educate the community on the benefits associated with the rich history of their area to create more job opportunities. He highlighted the need for the University of Botswana to partner with MACODET to document and package well some of the historical events that happened in Manyana such as the Battle of Dimawe for posterity.
MACODET Chairman, Mr Tlhagiso Sethibe, outlined MACODET objectives, saying the partnership with UB would help them realise their dreams because universities were the centre of of different expertise.
Giving a vote of thanks, Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Professor Happy Siphambe, said the UB and MACODET partnership was in line with the new UB strategy and government's desire to empower communities to use their resources productively. Professor Siphambe said the partnership between UB and MACODET would help remobilise and rejuvenate communities given the waning self-help spirit in that people nowadays expected government to do everything for them.