May 12, 2016
The Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, the Honourable Nonofo Molefhi has lauded BITRI for organising and hosting the just ended 2016 African Research Organisations Stakeholders Forum and made a commitment on the behalf of the Botswana Government to set up mutually beneficial cooperation with other African countries. The Forum was attended by Scientists from Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Seychelles, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana and Mozambique.
During the Forum, different institutes and departments on behalf of their respective countries, presented on their mandates, projects and offerings in relation to how they can contribute in the advancement of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).
In his Keynote Address, The Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, MIST, Mr Nonofho Molefhi outlined five major pillars that would help solve pertinent problems in partner countries. He challenged the Scientific community to remain committed to focusing research on tackling the big challenges that are facing this continent, to engage with policy makers, to remain committed to the ideals of promoting win-win cooperation, to commit to mutually enriching scientific and cultural exchanges and to do more to foster research-industry collaboration for mutual understanding and evidence-based decision-making within and across countries.
“The Government of Botswana will do its part to implement the decisions taken. We will step up mutually beneficial cooperation with African countries and would like to tackle head on and address bottleneck issues holding back Africa’s development, namely, inadequate infrastructure, lack of professional and skilled personnel, and funding shortage,” said the Minister.
The Forum ended with a tour of the BITRI Centre for Material Science facilities. BITRI used the platform to initiate collaborative discussions with research organisations locally and in Africa with the aim of soliciting them to consider usage of the facilities.
The Forum was organised by BITRI in collaboration with WAITRO, an independent, non-governmental and not-for-profit association established to promote and encourage co-operation among industrial and technological research and development organizations (RTOs). BITRI is a member of WAITRO.
Other participants in the forum included MIST (Botswana), African Academy of Science (Kenya), Regional Integration Dept (SADC), University of Botswana, Raw Materials Development Council (Nigeria), African Institute for Capacity Development (Kenya), Uganda Industrial Research Institute, Human Resource Development Council (Botswana), National Council for Science & Technology (Zambia), CSIR (South Africa), Research Africa (South Africa), IBM Research Africa, Mintek, CSIR (Ghana), University of Nambia, and Department of Science and Technology (South Africa).
The Forum was attended by Scientists from Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Seychelles, Zambia and Namibia.