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Govt to optimise technology

Government aims to optimise technology so that its developmental thrust is inclusive in terms of both rural and urban societies.

Briefing members of the press on the Global 2013 Smart Partnership Dialogue on July 9, Vice President Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe said  the advantages offered by Smart Partnership to its members include rapid development for less advanced countries through information and network platforms as well as access to new markets for companies from all country members through its networks. 

The dialogue, which was held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from 28 June to 1 July, was themed:  Leveraging technology for Africa’s socio-economic transformation: The Smart Partnership Way.

Giving a background to the smart partnership concept, the Vice President explained it “is about creating limitless opoortunities and wealth that is shared, that is sustaiable and that allows the participants to function is a global economy.”

He pointed out that the smart partnership movement promotes the optimal use of inclusiveness in science, technology and innovation; financial systems; and quality and standards to achieve the objectives of national visions and fast track socio-economci development.

The smart partnership concept, he said, became an influence in getting Botswana to produce and drive its long term Vision 2016 for national development.

He noted that Botswana became the first African country to host the Smart Partnership Dialogue, which was held in Kasane in 1997.

Dr Kedikilwe said Science and Technology Parks have long been recognised as a proven tool to foster science and technology based businesses and institutions, hence the establishment of the Botswana Innovation Hub.

It was established as one of the major efforts to diversify the economy, create jobs and develop the country towards achieving the ideals of Vision 2016, he said.

The Vice President explained that the aim of the hub is to foster entrepreneurship and technology transfer and generate knowledge, adding that they want to attract innovative companies and institutions.

He also stressed that it is crucial to devise ways in which technology can be exploited to the extent that it will mean something to the farmer in rural areas.

Dr Kedikilwe stated that Botswana, particularly with its relatively small population, should be able to reach foreign markets through technology.

He highlighted that the local market has to be export oriented, noting that technology could be used to market local products such as baskets by using people in areas like Gumare to sell, adding that such marketing will be useful to both small scale and large scale businesses.

The intention, he said, is to make use of technology for the purposes of attracting both domestic and foreign investment, as it translates to job creation.

On the role of the BIH, chief executive officer, Mr Allan Boshwaen said their key goal is to contribute to economic development and competitiveness by creating new business opportunities. He said the idea is to ensure that the system for innovation is relevant and that more people in the country use it to improve their lives.

The board chairperson of National Food Technology Research Centre and Southern District Council chairperson, Mr Leach Tlhomelang expressed concern that in Botswana a lot of produce goes to waste because of lack of technology. He cited the example of watermelons that are thrown away yet they can be processed into juices.

He said food processing can add value to many local products. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Thandy Tebogo

Location : GABORONE

Event : Press Conference

Date : Jul 09 Tue,2013

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