Botho University celebrated its 20 years anniversary this past week. Board Member Kate Senye said the theme – ‘20 years and the future’ – was testament of their humble beginnings at the mall to the current modern institution that has posted massive growth in and outside Botswana. She said they are grateful of Government for being a credible partner in their projects around the country. Senye dedicated their celebrations to the local communities both in Botswana and Lesotho and applauded their former and present chairpersons at the advisory council like the late Professor Thomas Tlou who played a major role in giving them the confidence to aspire to become the best institution. “With our current chairperson Moggie Mbaakanyi we are confident that she will achieve our full potential,” she said. Botho University Advisory Council Member Paul Evans said Africa should find ways of doing things and not look for solutions outside. “We have challenges of practicing prosperity which is much more inclusive and there is also lack of skills even though there is a lot of money going into education when looking at countries like Botswana and South Africa,” he said. He cited Botswana for graduates who cannot find jobs because of skills mismatch. He said it is very surprising to find out that Botswana is one of the countries in the world where it is difficult for businesses to find skilled talent with the country standing at position 103 out of 180 in terms of the ease of finding skilled employees. According to Evans, it is not what is taught that is important but rather it is how that is taught, saying that requires a lot of attention. Botho University Vice Chancellor Sheela Raja Ram said their 20 years have been a very fantastic journey where they have reinvented themselves to improve their quality.
She said they have implemented strategies that they set for themselves and in the process helped Botswana become economically independent. “We see ourselves as partners to the government and our intention is for sustainable growth and long-term strategy and absolute clarity of what we want to do,” she said. Ram said they need to make sure that there is continuous improvement through quality management, innovation, improvising and inclusiveness in valuing all their stakeholders. She said she is aware that for their growth they need to sustain whatever they have and what they are going to do on many issues. The Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology Dr Alfred Madigele said – in a speech read by his Deputy PS –they are very happy about Botho’s historic event and congratulated the institution for the work well done. He hailed Botho University for its contribution to the economy, saying it helped the country in moving from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based one. “The university has been able to leverage on emphasis of technology development and as such it is also plausible that the institution has built world class campus in both Gaborone and Francistown,” he said. He said as the government they will continue to sponsor a sizeable number of students in tertiary education providers like Botho which has also developed initiatives like the entrepreneurial lab that allows the students to learn about business. Mbaakanyi said as the university they often subject themselves to quality assurance over and above Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) because they strive in a fair regulatory environment. She thanked their partners all over the world because they make the university what it is, and as such give graduates a life changing environment.