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THE E-INNOGRAM APRIL 2019 NEWSLETTER VOL 2, ISSUE 2

CREATING SUSTAINABLE CLEAN WATER IN THE VILLAGE OF SOJWE

Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) partnered with one of its network members-Hydrocon Green, a local water and clean technologies company together with Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) to deliver a solar powered water treatment project in Sojwe Village. The project partners officially launched the plant to the community of Sojwe Village in May 2019.

The water treatment plant will create a sustainable clean and purified water supply that improves the quality of life our local communities. The solution lends itself to the problem of high nitrates and dissolved solids found in water in some parts of Botswana.

The Sojwe Water Treatment Plant follows a successful commissioning of the first water treatment plant in Zoroga village in July 2017. The partnership between WUC, Hydrocon & BIH will further the development of testing and implementing local water treatment solutions in rural areas. Hydrocon Green serves as the technical partner responsible for the design and fabrication of the water treatment unit.

“We want to continue to leverage on solar technology to develop solutions for safe and potable drinking water through renewable energy systems and to bring about an improvement in the general quality of life in the rural areas” said Alan Boshwaen, BIH CEO.

“I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the leadership of Botswana Innovation Hub for their generosity in financing a water project that is expected to provide a great relief to Sojwe and Boatlaname villages water shortage, in view of the positive impact the project will have in the lives of the residents” said the Water Utilities Corporations Director of Sustainability and Water Resources Mr Gaselemogwe Senai.

SOJWE VILLAGE KGOTLA GETS 100 CHAIRS!

On the occasion of the launch of the Water Treatment Plant, Botswana Innovation Hub staff members donated 100 chairs to Sojwe Village to be used at the kgotla. This gesture was a response to Kgosi’s plea for the need of chairs when conducting meetings. It was all merry for the Kgosi and his community when Team BIH spent time with the community preparing food for the event.

SUPPORTING BIOSCIENCE PROJECTS THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS

BIH in partnership with the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences, (NEPAD SANBio) hosted a stakeholder workshop in Gaborone in April. The workshop showcased the results and outputs from the projects, biopreneurs, scientist and developers that have been implemented over the last 24-36 months.

The BioFISA II Programme – a Finnish Southern African Partnership Programme to strengthen the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) started in April 2015 and is under implementation until 2019 with a total budget of approximately €6 630 000.

Programme funds are aimed at investments in human capacity building, networking and the support of commercialization of innovations in health and nutrition in 13 of the SADC Member States.

The workshop was intended to determine how stakeholders can collectively support the innovations developed in Botswana to sustain them towards commercialization. BIH and SANBIO with the support of the BIOFISA II programme partnered to implement key innovation projects,

supported female bioentrepreneurs through the FEMBioBiz acceleration programme and capacitated young bioscientists through the SANBio winter and summer schools as well as a regional equipment labhacks.

BIH has committed close to P1 Million to support innovations in health by the programme and its partners in the SADC region in the form of seed and flagship grants.

Commenting on the importance of biosciences during the workshop, Daniel Motlhanka, BUAN professor of Pharmacognosy said, “Natural resources have potential of creating medicines for emerging non-communicable diseases such as high blood pressure, high choloesterol, diabetes, cancer, stroke and many other imbalances that lead to fertility and ageing”.

PROMOTING ICT THROUGH FEMALE EMPOWERMENT

On the commemoration of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Girls in ICT Day, Botswana Innovation Hub partnered with Women in Technology Organization (WOTECH) to host a round table discussion to empower girls in ICT.

The round table discussed possible solutions to the challenges that are currently faced by women in technology. These included inspiring young girls to join the industry, create and leverage more opportunities for women within the technology industry, position women and girls within the upcoming and rapid growth of the 4th Industrial evolution and to mobilize stakeholders such as government to support the involvement of women and girls in ICT.

Women in Technology Organization (WOTECH) is an organization founded by a group of 10 young women who are pursuing their studies in technology. The organization aims to motivate women and girl’s interest in computing and ITC. WOTECH’s vision in inspiring school girls and young women is in line with BIH’s support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities.

“Youth should be encouraged to build a generation free of social media abuse by continuous engagement on activities that motivate and inspire young women through mentorship, talks and other activities. These should be done at grassroots level and spearheaded by parents, guardians and teachers and the use of social media to build a positive character/brand should also be demonstrated at an early stage so that the young understand responsible use of social media/technology.” - Manager of Women in Technology in Botswana, Ms Tlamelo Melemo

To find out more information on WOTECH you can visit their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/wotechbw/

International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) is a worldwide membership-based association managed by experts on science and technology parks and areas of innovation. They specialise in coordinating an active network of managers of science/technology/research parks, representing areas of innovation, increasing the visibility of their members and multiplying their global connections. As a member of IASP, BIH has received; -Access to technical support in setting up and operating a science and technology park through its network of networks -Benchmarked on best practices in incubation model -Publicity and visibility of its activities to IASP global members -Access to training programs through physical and virtual platforms ie webinars

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