August 28, 2017
BITRI Celebrates International Youth Day
BITRI commemorated the International Youth Day under the theme ‘Celebrating Youth at BITRI.’ Discussions on the day focused on harnessing the verve of the youth to recognize opportunities around them and turning them into businesses that are sustainable and provide practical solutions.
In his Welcome Remarks, the Director – Finance & Operations, Mr Godfrey Mosimaneotsile, engaged the youth to recognize the privilege of youth and the potentials it presents, advising them to harness their enthusiasm and ideas to become agents of change.
The Guest Speaker was Mr Justice Williams, who is a Motivational Speaker and an entrepreneur in the technology sector focused on the profile of an entrepreneur and some of the key character traits.
“Drawing on my experience as an entrepreneur and hoping that that you do not repeat the mistake we made because we took five years to launch our first product, I advise that you focus on the solutions and not the challenges, because focusing on the latter will make you not to reach your goal or launch a solution when the market is no longer lucrative,” explained Mr Williams.
“The other piece of advice, is to build teams. Look around you and partner with someone with skills that you lack but need in your business, and to enhance their motivation, offer them a stake in the business. That would encourage them to work hard for the success of the enterprise as they will reap rewards when the business succeeds. That will also work to your advantage because as a start-up, you probably do not have money to pay salaries to employees in a company that is not yet making profit.”
Ms Kitso Kusane, one of the 2015 ICTAssociates cohorts, posited that entrepreneurship springs from intrinsic motivation, with someone setting themselves on making a difference in the world, despite the attendant circumstances.
“Entrepreneurship is a journey of willingness, it’s a journey of cheerfulness, and as an entrepreneur, you take calculated risks, always with the end in mind,” said Ms Kusane.
The commemorations were organized by the BITRI Knowledge Commons and Coordinators of the ICTAssociate@BITRI program, a program principally targeted at the youth. The youth demographic is commonly understood to comprise of people between the ages of 18 – 35 years old. BITRI also engaged and invited stakeholders such as Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) and Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), institutions mandated to create new technological, and indigenous knowledge-based business opportunities and spearheading entrepreneurial development, respectively.
The International Youth Day was endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1999 after a recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth that was held August 1998. As is custom, the International Youth Day 2017 was globally, celebrated on 12th August in other countries around the ideal of celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace.