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THE E-INNOGRAM DECEMBER 2020 NEWSLETTER VOL 3, ISSUE 6

LOREAL AWARDS BATSWANA FEMALE INNOVATORS

The Foundation L'Oréal together with UNESCO revealed the 11th Sub-Saharan Africa Young Talent Awards L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science, which rewards 20 women researchers for the academic excellence in their projects. As a local facilitator of the awards, Botswana Innovation Hub announced two women from Botswana as recipients of the awards. The two women are;

Acknowledging the Batswana 2 winners at a “meet & greet” session, Hon. Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science & Technology, Dr Douglas Letsholathebe said;

“The importance of research cannot be overemphasized particularly in our mission to transform our economy from resource based to a knowledge based economy. We are delighted to have women take the stage and inspire other young researchers to pursue research projects that can help us solve some of the challenges we face today”.

The 2020 Sub-Saharan Africa Foundation of L'Oréal Young Talents Awards selected 20 Young Talents from nearly 330 applications. They all have in common the excellence of their projects and the desire to contribute to fuelling innovation in Africa. They are joining the community of 3,400 women researchers around the world who have been supported by the For Women in Science program since its creation in 1998.

Alan Boshwaen, CEO of Botswana Innovation Hub said; “The BIH embraced the L’OREAL-UNESCO for women in science awards and promoted the call for applications from Batswana scientists. Early this year, BIH collaborated with the L’Oréal Foundation and worked on a campaign to promote the call for applications as part of the Hub’s mandate to faciliatte Research and Innovation.

VIRTUAL BOOST UP FINAL PITCH COMPETITION

Following months of intensive acceleration, 18 start-ups from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia in the BOOST UP final pitch competition. The competition was held simultaneously in all five countries and broadcasted online. This year, the Annual competition attracted 83 applications.

In addition to the main prize, BOOST UP competition offered US$5,000 in AWS credits sponsored by AWS Activate for the top three start-ups overall, a prize for the top start-up from each country sponsored by SLUSH, and a package sponsored by Think Africa for the start-up that most represents the organisation’s values. Doctors E-Consult, represented by Loatile Nkala, was the top start-up from Botswana, and won access to Node by SLUSH, an international investment matchmaking platform.

Doctors E-Consult is a mobile application that serves as a doctor–patient consulting room on a phone or device. The application houses doctors from around the country and patients can book virtual appointments with their preferred doctor. Consultations are done by way of text or video calls through the application. Online doctor’s consultations will reduce congestion in medical facilities and allow for effective social distancing during the era of COVID-19.

Other participants from Botswana included First-Aid Counselling, represented by Kesego Mosime, LeveragePoint represented by Kenneth Setimela, and Scoot Logistics represented by Sam Sono. First-Aid Counselling is an app that allows users to get professional mental health help within minutes. LeveragePoint offers BusinessPoint, a comprehensive system geared towards SMMEs that allows for full automation of business processes, enabling easy monitoring, reporting, and compliance to the statutory reporting requirements and taxation. Scoot Logistics utilises an online delivery services platform for all parcel delivery needs around Gaborone.

Dawa Health, represented by Tafadwa Munzwa from Zambia, was the winner of BOOST UP 2020. Dawa Health is a weekly advisory application for expecting mothers accessible via mobile phones. The winner receives a one-week trip to Finland in 2021 and will be introduced to the Finnish ecosystem for endless possibilities of partnerships, mentoring, funding, and many other opportunities.

IBRANCH CONNECTS TO REDUCE UNEMPLOYMENT

Recently launched by the Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, Hon. Mpho Balopi, the iBranch Recruiters boosts an enrolment of 249 employers, 106,000 graduates and a placement of more than 500 Batswana job seekers. iBranch Recruiters platform to connect with potential employers.

iBranch Recruiters is an innovative company registered with Botswana Innovation Hub Incubation Programme within the First Step Venture Centre. The company has built significant traction in the market through utilisation and bridging the unemployment gap by matching potential employees with employers. The services are offered via mobile and web platforms.

The platform is the first of its kind in Botswana as it allows for interactions between registered employers and jobseekers and is expected to effectively speed up the process of recruitment and placement of jobseekers. Some of the organisations that have had the opportunity to work with iBranch during its piloting stage acknowledged its contribution to their workforce.

“I am happy to note that we are collectively witnessing the Fourth Industrial revolution in action with a clear demonstration of how the world leverages technology and associated efficacy. The ibranch platform will help match the right skills with the right job opportunities and assist in reducing youth unemployment.” -Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, Hon. Mpho Balopi.

Since its inception in 2018, It has also facilitated placement of 196 and 124 applicants for industrial attachments and internship programme. Various employers applauded how the service cut down the time spent in the recruitment process. Organisations like Ba Isago, Blind Vision and the University of Botswana are some of the those that have had the opportunity to use the platform in recruitment process and also student placement.

CALLING CODERS, DEVELOPERS AND PROGRAMMERS TO SHOWCASE THEIR SKILLS

BIH is calling software developers to join a web-based platform that showcases digital skills of software developers to stakeholders (both private and public) and interest them to collaborate or procure developers skills.

The BIH Top 1000 Digital Skills Platform enlists top 1000 software developers in the country. The registered innovators will be able to participate in developer activities such as workshops, trainings, hackathons and many others that will be facilitated through the platform.

Software developer are encouraged to register at https://www.skillsranker.bih.co.bw or access the platform through the BIH website https://www.bih.co.bw/