Monday, October 18, 2021

BIHP attracts 250 local youth companies

The number of youth companies to occupy office space at the Botswana Innovation Hub Park (BIHP) buildings in Gaborone will be 250

The companies are expected to occupy the buildings on September 30. The facility is currently fixing a structural defect discovered on a portion of the building recently.

“Each company will occupy 10m2 and will also have access to board rooms,” the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology Alfred Madigele said in Parliament Monday.

Madigele said the selection of the companies was based on amongst others the scalability- meaning the extent to which the solution can be easily applied to other similar markets beyond the applicant’s immediate or local environment, social impact of the solution, marketability of the solution, technical aspect and originality.

“The companies are charged rent of P2 000 per month,” he further said.

With technical know-how, scientific based ideas and innovative skills, Batswana youths with decorated degrees find themselves roaming the streets unemployed with the much anticipated BIHP occupations expected to relief the nagging strain.

Technology driven and knowledge intensive orientated, the multi-million Pula facility aims to cushion the problem, establishing and developing potential entrepreneurs and businesses able to compete locally and enter even the regional and global markets.

“Currently a specialist contractor is addressing a structural defect that was discovered on a portion of the building,” Madigele said.

Twenty local companies and 19 foreign ones have already shown interest and agreed to lease office space in the new buildings.

Already six companies have signed offers to lease amongst others Alpha Direct, Dimension Data, Nashua and Temo Deck International.

With regard to internet services, no single company has been contracted to provide such services in the buildings.

With BCL Mine out of operations following its liquidation, the partnership between the two is out of the picture for innovative companies in and around Selebi-Phikwe for outreach programmes.

“The BCL Mine paid for premises used by these companies. Following the liquidation of BCL the partnership has ended,” the Minister said.

The outreach programme assists with mentoring and coaching, business network opportunities, technical and business advisory services and advise on intellectual property rights.

“During the current financial year, Botswana Innovation Hub reached out to innovators in Ghanzi, D’kar, Maun, Francistown, Thamaga, Oodi and Palapye. These were also assisted with mentoring and coaching, business network opportunities, technical and business advisory services and advise on intellectual property rights,” Madigele further said.

He was responding to a question by Specially Elected Member of Parliament Reggie Reatile.

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