Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) has established Cyber City Kgotla which is an open community workspace for the critical role the ICT developer community plays in the innovation value chain and acknowledgment of the challenges encountered by the local ICT Developer Community.
BIH Director Marketing, Registration and ICT Dr Geoffrey Seleka said that the hub’s target comprises of ICT students, ICT graduates, ICT professionals and entrepreneurs with a technological focus.
Dr Seleka said the cyber city kgotla facilitates the development and growth of innovative technology ideas that will ultimately bear social and economic benefits to Botswana and beyond. He added that the programme seeks to consistently engage and spearhead the local ICT developer community towards the development of local ICT content, skills enhancement and job creation.
“Cyber City Kgotla provides tailored services including physical co-working space, access to high speed internet, technical and business trainings as well as testing platforms with all the services provided at no cost,” he said.
He further pointed out since its inception, the cyber city kgotla has delivered training to approximately 80 ICT students, graduates and professionals. He said that the approach of the cyber city kgotla is one that works with academia and ICT corporates, specifically cell phone network providers. He added that they are the two most critical stakeholders of the ICT developer community as academia possesses and produces the most important resource being human resource and knowledge, while the ICT Corporate’s provide the network, market guidance and platform to test, absorb and consume the ultimate ICT content and skills.
“To increase its national footprint, the cyber city kgotla continually works with academic institutions to roll out services such as trainings and competitions to inspire a culture of innovation, skills transfer and technology entrepreneurship at institutions across the country,” said Seleka.
BIH ICT Developer Community Officer Tirelo Ramasedi said that BIH identified four key priority sectors within the economy of which ICT was one of them. She stated that in line with its strategic objectives of economic development and competitiveness by creating new technological business opportunities. She said another objective is of adding value to existing companies, fostering entrepreneurship and tech transfer, generating knowledge based jobs. He added that the main goal is attracting innovative companies and institutions to BIH.
“A measured infrastructure-focused investment named the cyber city, was planned for to create an environment within the science and technology park where start- up technology entrepreneurs, multinational organisations, local ICT businesses and researchers could meet to dialogue, exchange knowledge and share value with the ultimate output of social and economic solutions being created for Botswana and the rest of the world,” she said.
Ramasedi stated that merging the cyber city with the own indigenous knowledge innovation system, the kgotla, being a meeting place where ideas are exchanged and problems solved; the name cyber city Kgotla emerged as the brand for the BIH ICT Developer Community programme.