“One of the most important drivers of Africans’ success in this century is education.”┬á
This was said by Ms Maria Ramos, ABSA’s Group Chief Executive Officer, at the 11th Anniversary University of Botswana Foundation dinner dance where she was the guest speaker.
The fundraising event was held at the Gaborone International Convention Centre.
Also in attendance were University Chancellor Sir Ketumile Masire, UB Foundation Board of Trustees Chairperson Satar Dada, Vice Chancellor Professor Thabo Fako, other members of the UB Foundation board of trustees and the movers and shakers of the business fraternity in Botswana. ┬áThe theme this year was “Africa: the importance of skills for future growth and ongoing economic resilience.”
Ramos managed to touch on issues relevant to the education system here in Botswana. ┬á
“Many of our schools simply do not have the necessary infrastructure to teach. For example, there are still many schools without toilets, electricity, desks and chalkboards. In 2006, the NPC found that the number of schools without electricity stood at roughly 5 000, while 1 500 schools were without on-site toilets. Many feeding schemes in the rural areas have also collapsed. Hungry children and ill-equipped schools are not conducive to educational excellence.”
Though she was broadly making reference to Southern Africa, the study had also included Botswana since.
One of the Vision 2016 pillars is for Botswana to be an educated and informed nation.
The UB Foundation was established to aid in attaining this pillar. Through these fundraising efforts, the University of Botswana is able “to advance, promote, and support the mission of UB and to enhance excellence at UB by building enduring relationships and resources that enable University of Botswana to become a leading academic centre and it is the official fundraising arm of the University.”
Information from the UB Foundation indicates that this year, the foundation has given out a total of 18 scholarships across all faculties, and since its inception, they have awarded over 100 scholarships. The Foundation has called upon all stakeholders to also play a role in aiding in empowering Batswana through improving the education system.
Ramos concluded by pointing out that, “The world we live in will remain a complex place. And our education systems need to ensure we not only survive, but live flourishing lives.”