Monday, July 15, 2024

UB enhances societal impact in Ghanzi, Charleshill

The University of Botswana (UB) will embark on a series of stakeholder engagement activities in Ghanzi and Charleshill as part of its long-term strategy to enhance societal impact. 

The engagement activities will take place from the 26th – 29th September 2023 led by the Vice Chancellor. 

The University’s stakeholder engagement is a four (4) pronged initiative that covers, UB Mini – Open Day, Career Fair, Business Breakfast Meeting, and Ghanzi District Full Council Briefing. 

The objective of these stakeholder engagement activities is to create awareness and share with stakeholders the University’s research output as well as to sensitize stakeholders on services and product offerings that may be beneficial to communities in the Ghanzi and Charleshill areas. Thus, engagement highlights entail: Community Engagement through Council Briefings, The San Research Centre Project, Private Sector Engagement as well as research on the development of Foot and Mouth Disease and Lumpy Skin Vaccines.

This is part of demonstrating the University’s critical role in transitioning Botswana into a knowledge economy as well as transforming Batswana into a knowledge society through teaching, learning and research. It is, therefore, critical for the University to develop active, productive, impactful, and strategic networks with communities around the country especially those in far–flung areas as part of government’s agenda to foster social inclusivity.

The programme will commence on the 26th September 2023 with UB hosting a Mini – Open Day for Ghanzi residents while the Centre for Continuing Education will be addressing in-service staff on part-time and distance learning courses. On the same day, the Department of Academic Services will address Form Fours and Five students at Ghanzi Senior Secondary School. A breakfast meeting will follow on the 27th September 2023 where the Vice Chancellor will give an overview on the University of Botswana transformation process. 

During the same event, Prof Sununguko Mpoloka will present on the development of Foot & Mouth Disease and Lumpy Skin Disease vaccines while Prof Maitseo Bolaane will present on the San Research Centre with a testimony from a student who has benefitted from the Centre. The Ghanzi District stands out as one of the areas that experiences the lowest literacy rates in the country, which in turn, contributes significantly to high levels of poverty. To that end, the university remains steadfast in its commitment towards championing a wide spectrum of initiatives to foster social inclusivity through high-quality education. One such initiative is the UB San Research Centre, which continues to play a pivotal role in empowering the San communities through various programmes and services. 

To that end, a cumulative 72 San individuals have successfully completed various programmes with the support of UB scholarships. Of these graduates, 18 received certificates, 13 earned diplomas, 10 attained bachelor’s degrees, while another 10 obtained master’s degrees. On the 28th September 2023, the Vice Chancellor will address the Ghanzi Full Council Meeting on a wide spectrum of issues including the research that the University of Botswana is undertaking to develop animal vaccines. 

Still on 28th September 2023, the Department of Academic Service will address Form Three students at Rethuseng Junior Secondary School in Charleshill while the community will be treated to a Mini – Open Day at the Rural Administration Centre. On the same day, in-service staff will be addressed on part-time and distance learning courses offered by the Centre for Continuing Education. 

Through this initiative of engaging stakeholders and communities in other parts of the country, the University demonstrates the pivotal role it plays in Botswana’s development agenda in line with the President’s Mindset Change Agenda. The president’s initiative is geared towards fostering a frame of mind that is open to new possibilities in addition to instilling a belief and motivation that anything is achievable for all and by all. “It is our aim and mission as the University of Botswana that as a public funded institution we actively engage our different communities wherever they are if we are to prosper and move forward together as a nation” observed Vice Chancellor Professor Norris.

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