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Focus on pragmatic innovation - Boshwaen

Innovation should be understood as the dissemination of something new in the local context and not as something new in absolute terms, says the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr Alan Boshwaen.

Speaking at BIH stakeholder engagement seminar in Francistown August 22, Mr Boshwaen noted that, while economically advanced countries naturally work at the cutting edge of the technology frontier, developing countries have considerable opportunities for tapping into global knowledge and technology for dissemination in their local context. 

“As a country, we must focus on pragmatic innovation, which will bring out relevant and innovative solutions to the real life challenges facing us,” he nsaid.    

As result, BIH has forged partnerships with leading businesses and institutions to put in place specialised innovation support programmes meant to assist their ideas into the marketplace, he further said.

In addition to providing support to innovators, he mentioned that they realised it was crucial to have a supporting regulatory framework.

This is because in that way, they will help grow talent base to drive innovation forward while at the same time creating a friendly environment for innovators to have access to finance in order for their projects to take off.

Furthermore, Mr Boshwaen stated that BIH focuses on sectors such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT), biotechnology and cleaning technology as well as mining technologies.

He said these sectors have strong positive linkages to the economy and they believe they can offer future solutions in curbing some of the country’s pervasive challenges such as drought, diseases, inadequate energy sources and unemployment.

Meanwhile, Mr Boshwaen highlighted that Francistown is strategically positioned as a mining cluster since it is in proximity to about 10 operating mines and or exploration concessions and also being the second largest consumer market in Botswana after the greater Gaborone area.

He said this presents an opportunity for mines, Small Medium Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) start-ups and entrepreneurs to collaborate and add value to the mining value chain in order to realise the goals of adding value to the mining resources.

The CEO said such collaboration will result in empowering SMMEs and assist in the provision of locally based mining related products and services, hence job creation within the communities and will also strengthen the mining cluster in the Francistown region.

He further noted that they have so far as BIH registered two companies in the mining exploration being the Southern Mapping from South Africa who specialises in geo spatial technology and Bauer De Wet, a manufacturer of specialised drilling equipment, which is built and designed in Botswana to foster local expertise and innovation.

He explained that the drills are specific to the Southern African open cast drilling environment.

The CEO therefore urged mining companies involved in the stages of the mining value chain, such as enhanced exploration technologies and geo spatial mapping to get in touch with them to form an impactful mining technologies network founded on innovation. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Goitsemodimo Williams

Location : Francistown

Event : Stakeholders meeting

Date : Aug 25 Sun,2013


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