Resident ambassadors and dignitaries from international organisations in Botswana toured the University of Botswana facilities on Friday. Public Affairs Director Mhitshane Reetsang said the tour was designed for members of the diplomatic mission, as representatives of their own countries, to learn more about the university in order to foster good relationships.
She said UB was honoured to host them since it is the first time they have such a good turn up. She said it is important for them to meet the ambassadors because there are countries with representives in Botswana but do not have a relationship the university. “We wanted them to appreciate growth of the university and understand more about the school and what the government of Botswana is doing in terms of tertiary education,” she said.
Reetsang said they discussed strategic collaborative partnerships because to facilitate a good working relationship with the mebassies. She said this will also assist smooth transition for students going to study in the respective countries. The delegates were impressed about the tour as they managed to go around the whole school and tour the conference centre, campus plaza and mostly the outstanding campus indoor sports centre and the UB teaching hospital. Representatives in the tour were from South Africa, France, Cuba and Japan among many others.
The ambassador for Angola in Botswana said more such interactions should be organised. He suggested that they be engaged more often for relationship building and the reinforcement of exchange programs which will in turn benefit both parties. The Cuban ambassador to Botswana Juan Carlos Arencibia Corrales said he is interested in knowing the number of countries that the University of Botswana is having a relationship with, and in what sense. The University of Botswana currently has a relationship with 98 countries, in which some are partnerships with the different departments and faculties. Reetsang expressed appreciation for all the country representatives and organisations that came like UNDP, WHO and SADC among others.
She said they will continue to engage them as the university develops. On how the school is expanding since there is a lot of construction taking place, Reetsang said they have a lot of projects that are to be completed and also building new infrastructures in order to try and take learning to another level. She said the teaching hospital for medicine and the indoor sports complex are some of the facilities that show how serious Botswana government is when it comes to education. “We are also building the faculty of sciences and faculty of engineering," she said, adding that with the response that they have seen from the diplomats they are sure that Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)’s would be signed which will then enable exchange programs among students and lectures. She said this can help the staff and students a long way, and that they are happy about the relationship that will come forth.