The Rural Industries Promotions Company Botswana (RIPCO B) and the Botswana Technology Centre (BOTEC) are nearing completion to merge, closing a chapter of the technological companies that have struggled to meet the economic welfare of the country.
The transition marks yet another watershed development for the registration of a new hi-technology research entity, mandated to focus on supporting the prioritization and development in science, technology and innovation.
The move is expected to position the new unit assume its rightful place in economic diversification and positively contribute to the economic development of Botswana, an attributes to the defunct technological institutions that attempted to live to expectations but would not fall in.
“The new unit will effectively foster for quality research-based technology methods to benefit the entire populace across the country,” revealed RIPCO B senior information officer, Tom Ketlogetswe, insisting the two organizations played their recognized part but would meet the considered target.
Another move to consider the merger resulted from notice of duplication of duties the two institutions played with the government.
While RIPCO B targeted mostly the rural folks, the technology applied at the institution overlapped to conflict with the duties carried by BOTEC, calling for the cabinet decision to amalgamate the institutions.
Although prospects for the transition are promising, Ketlogetswe foresees a bleak future for the majority of both companies’ employees as retrenchment and early retirement come into play to pave way for the new development.
He predicts a 2/3 majority loss of employment and would not be dragged to discuss the issue any further, referring further enquiries to relevant authorities.
Sunday Standard understands that severance packages are already being prepared for victims to be affected.
This sad process is inevitable in every organization as it attempts to revamp for better services, the information officer acknowledged.
Although the new brand has not yet found a new name, let alone identify and appoint new board of directors and CEO, the merger is expected to be completed in July – the process having started in January following government’s unanimous decision.
Through the Rural Industries Innovation Centre (RIIC) in Kanye, RIPCO B has since 1975 been the country’s national appropriate technology development only to be overshadowed in recent years by the introduction of BOTEC- a much advanced technological institution with similar technological foundation traits.
Besides conducting research in areas such as renewable energy, water pumping, water treatment, agricultural, building and information communication technologies both institutions attempted for centre of entrepreneurial training, currently training locals on various artisan skills.