Former President Festus Mogae has promised to work closely with both Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) Council and management to ensure that the university remains focussed on its mandate.
Mogae pointed out on Friday, during his inauguration as the founding BIUST Chancellor, that he was happy to take the appointment and committed to doing his utmost best in guiding the university towards the full achievement of its mandate of being an international centre of excellence in tertiary education.
He said that BIUST was conceived with the intention to add impetus to the quest for developing the human capital, especially in specialized areas such as engineering, science and technology. He added that other areas include increasing the scientific awareness and aptitude of Batswana as an important step towards transforming Botswana into a knowledge society.
“The realization of our economic diversification and growth initiatives are anchored on the adequate supply of these critical and scare skills,” said Mogae.
Furthermore, he stated that engineering, science and technology remain the platform and essential ingredients for achieving sustainable economic development and effective global competitiveness as a nation.
Mogae also said that the role of the nation in the global village depends to a large extent on the quality and capabilities of the human capital. He added that the best long term and high return investment at the nation’s disposal is the equipping of the people with technical skills.
“Our ability to attract foreign direct investors is closely dependent on the availability and adequate supply of the technical and other relevant skills,” he stated.
Mogae pointed out that BIUST was conceived to be even more international in the way it conducts its business. He also said it was intended to attract the world’s renowned academicians and researchers, adding that it was further designed to attract students not only from the SADC region, but also from the rest of the world. Mogae noted that BIUST was also designed to build a network of reputable international partners for purposes of research, student and staff exchanges as part of its core business.
“The private sector has been supportive and BIUST is in the process of establishing a number of sector-based industry advisory councils,” said Mogae.
Mogae’s immediate roles include conferring certificates, diplomas, degrees and PhDs on the graduates of the University and may, in his absence, be assisted by the Chairman of the BIUST Council.
The BIUST Act automatically confers the position of the University Chancellor on His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana
Members of the BIUST Council consist of Tembo Lebang as the Chairperson, Professor Steve Howell as Acting Vice Chancellor, Dr. Shabani Ndzinge-Deputy Vice Chancellor Finance and Administration, Dr. Wayne Clark-Acting Provost and Vice Provost for Student Affairs as well as Dr. Edison Selaolo who is Vice Chairperson. The list also includes Grace Muzila, Thuli Johson, Valencia Mogegeh, Cornelius Dekop, Spencer Kaisara, Bilkis Moorad, Kaelo Mokomo and lastly Carter Morupisi.