Thursday, February 29, 2024

Iconic science and technology park on track

Construction of Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH)’s iconic; state of the art and multimillion Pula Science and Technology Park (STP) is at an advance stage as is expected to be complete by August 2016.

During a media tour of the construction site on Wednesday, the Project Manager Yame Rakhudu of AMA Projects confirmed that the project is on time and still within budget. He added that the P643 million project has also engaged a lot of Botswana companies.

“Priorities are to manage construction risks and deliver quality building and to ensure successful installation of fa├ºade,” said Rakhudu.

He further said there is pressure to deliver the sophisticated world class building on time to meet the July-August 2016 deadline, adding that the building will lead development in the park to attract potential innovation led tenants and property developers.

BIH Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alan Boshwaen said they are yet to finalize negotiations with prospective tenants on office and lab space and intensify tenant attraction.  He stated that a Science and Technology Park (STP) is highly specialized and plays a key role in the economic development of the country. 

“Through a dynamic and innovative mix of policies, programmes, quality space and facilities and high value-added services, the park provides an environment that enhances a culture of innovation, creativity and quality,” said Boshwaen.

He pointed out that the park facilitates the creation of new technology businesses via incubation and spin-off mechanisms, and accelerates the growth of small and medium size companies. The park also facilitates communication between companies, institutions, entrepreneurs and innovators. BIH was accorded full membership of the International Association of Science Parks in 2014 in recognition of the progress achieved in implementation of STP infrastructure developments and innovation support programmes. 

“The role of the icon building is symbolic of innovation inspired by Botswana environs and cultural artifacts and it offers office space flexibility to allow start-ups, SMEs, and large international companies to setup offices in the park,” he stated. 

The project team is made up of Shop Architects (lead architects) and Nutall Smith Architects (local architects partner), while citizen owned company Mmile Mhutsiwa and Associates are the quantity surveyors. The structural and civil engineering is done by a joint venture between Pula Consultants (citizen owned) and WSP Consultants (SA).

The main contractor is Zenghtai and Caitec (China joint venture) while main subcontractors is Sharps Electrical (citizen owned). Boshwaen expressed optimism that BIH will increase tenant and investor attraction and ensure completion and use of the icon building. 

“Once the park is operational there is going to be increased strategic partnerships and property developments. Part of the focus is on innovation support programmes outcomes and new relevant solutions, job creation and innovation capacity building,” said Boshwaen.


Read this week's paper