I wish to congratulate those who will receive their academic awards today and also commend parents, families, guardians and indeed faculty for their support, sacrifice and patience endured during your period of study. You certainly owe your achievements to this network of support which provided a conducive environment for you to reach this stage of your academic journey. I wish to commend the Botho University for its, commitment and contribution towards developing human resources in Botswana. Ever since attaining university status in 2013, Botho University has demonstrated a clear commitment to offering quality education that is benchmarked on national and international academic standards in order to produce well rounded employable graduates for the global market. The university’s quest for quality is further demonstrated in having achieved an ISO 9001:2008 Certification in 2013, making Botho, the only higher education institution in Botswana to be ISO 9001:2008 certified.
Botswana has since independence experienced rapid economic transformation from a rural agricultural economy to an emergent technologically based economy. However, the changing socio-economic conditions are putting a demand on the nation to equip our citizens with diverse knowledge, information, technological skills and competencies. This can only be achieved through highly qualified personnel who are equipped in varied knowledge disciplines and technological subjects. The 21st century has ushered in the need to rethink our understanding of wider issues of economics, communication, security, cultural identity, citizenship, and the environment. There is an increasing call for quality and relevant learning in response to these new demands and opportunities. It is my sincere belief that the graduating class of 2016 is well positioned to rise up to this challenge. Botho University puts strong emphasis on graduate employability and an entrepreneurship culture. This disposition should have engendered in the graduates positive qualities to enable them to easily fit into industry by either being employable or generating employment by starting their own businesses.
Your personal and social qualities have also been developed such that you will be able to work with all sorts of people from varying backgrounds. The world is full of great and wonderful people with different ideas and talents and this requires an adaptive mindset in order to survive. There has been a lot of concern about unemployed graduates in Botswana. True as this may be, one is tempted to ask you why you would choose to roam the streets jobless, while you have been exposed to such a good educational experience to enable you to be self-employed and employers of labour. I learn that there are around 800 graduates who would be receiving various academic awards in both Francistown & Gaborone campuses. This is a commendable job not only to the graduates themselves but to Botho University, more so that for the first time in the history of the institution, there are graduates from local Botho’s own home grown programmes.
This is part of a speech delivered by Solly Reikeletseng – the chairperson of Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) at Botho University graduation ceremony in Francistown on Friday evening.