The University of Botswana (UB) Foundation has in the last decade sponsored nearly 100 students after engaging the private sector in raising funds through a number of activities to grow an endowment fund.
Speaking at the UB Foundation appreciation dinner, the Foundation Chairman, Satar Dada, said the university has since witnessed remarkable growth measured in terms of capital development, the range of academic programmes, staff and students numbers.
“A one-stop business solutions centre has been established and it is now in full operation, a Degree programme in Tourism and Hospitality has also been introduced and the first graduates have already completed their undergraduate degree. Funding has been sought to support research, scholarships and performance recognition in the area of telecommunication,” said Dada.
He highlighted that the purposes of the past dinners were to fundraise for an endowment fund that was set up to support needy and deserving students pursuing graduate studies at the UB. He said the UB Foundation was established in 2000 to advance the UB through partnership with the public, private and other stakeholders.
“Since we started the Foundation, our aim has been to enhance quality education in the country in order to produce entrepreneurs and we are currently concentrating at the UB,” said Dada.
He stated that government has called upon various potential investors to set up tertiary institutions in Botswana, to partner with government in education and investment in human capital.
He further said that without the participation of the private sector, government alone cannot sustain the overall cost of education. He urged the graduates to work hard to find space in the diverse economy to engage themselves productively and create employment.
“Tertiary institutions continue to play a pivotal role in nurturing the development of the youth of this country into skilful and innovative young adults,” said Dada.
The UB Foundation Director, Dr Baagi Mmeriki, noted that in the academic year 2011-2012, 19 students got sponsorship from the UB Foundation. He said the Foundation had managed to post graduates students for their research. He thanked the private sector and other stakeholders for the partnership with the UB Foundation. ┬á
“It is an important role to make Botswana an education hub, align skill development with social and economic needs,” he said.
This year, the platinum sponsorship award went to BIFM and Investec for sponsorship of the annual dinner dance and golf tournament.