The government of Botswana is making concerted, legislative efforts to catch up with other countries in Africa, like Rwanda and South Africa, who are speeding ahead in the faculty of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Speaking during the recent 12th Southern Africa Research and Innovation Management Association Conference (SARIMA), Professor Torto of Botswana said parliament has already approved a National Innovation Fund which will provide seed and early stage funding for technology based start-ups and ventures, as well as established companies with viable innovation concepts. The objectives of the 12th SARIMA conference were to develop the discipline of research and innovation, including professional development and promotion of best practices, in order to foster and coordinate activities related to research and management at local, national, regional, and international levels.
Torto said in this day and age science, engineering, technology and Innovation (SETI) “hold answers to new complex challenges that governments are facing. He commended the host country Botswana for making significant strides in mapping the landscape of science, technology and innovation (STI) and emboldening national frameworks.
“Over the past 60 years, both developed and developing countries have recognized this fact by increasing the number of SETI government bodies, establishing new SETI legal frameworks as well as implementing a diverse set of new SETI policy instruments”, said Prof. Torto.
In this light, according to Torto, the country is poised for progress and reform, including upgrading the country’s science systems and building capacity for monitoring and evaluating performance.
Torto said building a sound higher education system has now become a “national priority.” To date, Botswana has invested in two new public institutions of higher learning. One of these focuses on science and engineering, while the other on agriculture and natural resources.
He said, although funding and financing research and innovation is an expensive enterprise, it is critical for both Botswana and other countries to build an inclusive and diverse knowledge society.
(Source: BizTech Africa