The Botswana Technology Centre on Thursday celebrated 30 years of ‘Innovation and Technology’, riding on the theme ’30 Years of Innovation and Technology’, with an added statement saying, ‘Making a Difference in Daily Lives’.
This event showcased their products, prototypes and services that BOTEC has developed over the years. BOTEC was established in 1979 with the mission to provide for industrial and business development through innovative research and application of science and technology. It specialises in renewable energy, sustainable architecture, environmental technology, water technologies, which include purification, treatment and capture, electronics and ICT for development and, lastly, technology management and transfer. BOTEC has come a long way with innovative ideas and technologies that aim to improve the lives of Batswana. This technology is visible to through, for example, solar powered streetlights.
The Permanent Secretary to the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Festina Bakwena, delivered her Minister, Pelonomi Venson Moitoi’s speech. “We are glad that you honoured our invitation not only to grace this event but also to share with us your thoughts and experiences of how Japan has come to achieve such admirable levels of development in science and technology,” she said. Bakwena added that it is through the process of sharing ideas and experiences, that we should be able to forge ahead in the implementation of technologies that make a difference in people’s lives, and avoid attempting to reinvent the wheel.
“This we need to do, especially at this time when countries in the world over are experiencing an economic recession and have the challenge to ensure that available resources are utilized prudently to make maximum impact on the lives of our citizens.” Since the birth of BOTEC, it has provided projects, including the bicycle ambulance, borehole water level sensor, hand pumps, automatic weather station, solar thermal testing facility, photon 128 hearing aid, emergency lights, have inserted about 20 lights at Kalahari Breweries, the solar chimney and the solar photovoltaic streetlights. Bakwena congratulated BOTEC for its 30-year foray, which was “full of humps along the way”, but terming them as “stepping stones to success”.
“I am pleased that BOTEC is in the process of developing a new Strategic Plan to give the organisation strategic direction in the years that lie ahead. I hope that, with the development of the new Strategic Plan, the contribution by BOTEC will be felt even more by Batswana,” she said. On his part, the Japanese Ambassador, Ryoichi Matsuyama, said that he believed that our lives revolve around technological innovations on a daily basis and, therefore, sees the theme as very fitting for the day. “I am aware that BOTEC has shown specific interest in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), Human Resources Development (HRD), Scientific Research, Innovation and Technology Development, and Geology and Mining,” he said.
”Our office is open to you through the prescribed structures of our countries’ bilateral relationships and set-ups,” he added. BOTEC CEO, Dr. Edson Tsiababa Selaolo, said that creating new knowledge is a challenge on its own.
“Human resource capacity is needed to access, understand, extend and apply S&T and ICT based knowledge.” Selaolo added that their ultimate outcome is to remember the future, thus focusing on their children’s children’s generation. The Botswana Police Band and the Dikakapa cultural troupe provided entertainment.