Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology Minister Ngaka Ngaka says it is imperative that higher education institutions such as ABM University College come up with robust strategies in training, research and development with the aim of producing competent graduates who fit in the global knowledge economy.
Speaking at the college’ graduation last week, Ngaka said this is very important as tertiary education has a key role to play in laying the foundation for the subsequent development of Botswana as an innovative knowledge driven economy. He said this provides the first value proposition for the sector as key driving force of Botswana’s economic development.
He said the theme ‘The Role of Higher Education in Socio Economic Development-Working towards a knowledge based economy’ takes into consideration government efforts on knowledge –creation for socio economic growth. He emphasized that “our economy is undergoing a major structural transformation with the aim of becoming less dependent in primary resources such as the mining and agriculture but to establish service-intensive knowledge based industries”.
This shift, he said, means that human resource development by enhancing the education, skills and productivity of the national labor force is key to achieving competitiveness. Ngaka stressed that research and innovation should be the core value proposition of tertiary education providers as they should be the leading stakeholder in the country transforming into innovative and research based society.
To the graduates, he said the fate of Botswana as a knowledge based economy society in the 21st Century rests in the talent, diligence and their tenacity for willing to embrace the opportunities and challenges that comes with the transformative measures as constituted in the tertiary education policy. He called on the graduates to explore research and innovative ideas and take advantage of opportunities present such the Innovation Hub Fund that has been recently inducted.
ABM University College Vice Chancellor Daisy Mmabatho Molefhi reckoned that as an institution ABM is committed to producing entrepreneurial mindset driven graduates by adopting a comprehensive curriculum to yield adaptable human resource in the global market competitiveness space.
She contended that the ABM graduates are shaped in a way that they should add value in the socio-economic spectrum of the society and create employment opportunities in the current saturated job market.
Molefhi also noted that as an effort to lead in the research and innovation ABM as tertiary institution established Research and Training Centre for Entrepreneurship back in 2013 in order to foster viable partnerships with stakeholders such as Botswana Innovation Hub to help in implementation of innovative ideas that the graduates intend to push.