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UB appreciates Chinese Embassy donation

University of Botswana (UB) says the P400 000 donation by the Chinese Embassy towards UB Innovation Centre came at the right time as the varsity intends to take a leading role in transforming Botswana to a knowledge-based economy.

Appreciating the recent donation, UB Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris said they highly appreciated the gesture, adding that it would go a long way in assisting with the centre’s operations.

He said the centre would be opened to everyone with an  idea to utilise it for innovation, adding that their desire was for UB to be an incubation centre for the manufacturing industry.

He also revealed that they decided as the university to take a leading role in the knowledge- based economy.

“When the political leaders talk about knowledge-based economy, the university has to lead that transformation and we feel that we do not have to be told by the leadership of the country that the whole innovation ecosystem rests on the university’s shoulders,” he added.

In his response, the Chinese Ambassador to Botswana, Dr Zhao Yanbo indicated that when Professor Norris reached out to him about the centre, they wasted no time in offering the support since Chinese Embassy was a longtime partner of UB. 

 He noted that the Embassy realised that the project could become a major platform for new business and start-ups in Botswana.

Furthermore, Dr Zhao highlighted that the country being faced with the urgent need of getting the economy back on track; the significance of such platform was self-evident.

“Upon completion, the centre will provide facilities and space to support students, alumni, staff and even the public to turn their viable business ideas into physical prototypes that once commercialised will help create jobs, drive innovation and foster a knowledge-based economy,” he noted.

He said another reason why they made the donation was that recently at the Extraordinary China - Africa Summit on Solidarity A COVID-19, theChinese President Xi Jinping stressed that China would explore broader cooperation with Africa in new business forms such as digital economy, smart city, clean energy and 5G platforms. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Thato Modiakgotla

Location : Gaborone

Event : Donation

Date : Jun 29 Mon,2020


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