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BIH to host inaugural Innovation Botswana 2017

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SONNY SERITE

As part of a series of annual events that celebrate innovation in the country, the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) will host an inaugural innovation day that will be coined as ‘Innovation Botswana 2017’ and set to take place on October 26 at the BIH Science and Technology Park.
Addressing the media recently, BIH Director of Cluster Development Dr. Budzanani Tacheba said the event aims to celebrate innovation and create a platform for networking, dialogue and exhibition with the intent of bringing together local and regional players in the science, technology and innovation space.
The inaugural Innovation Botswana 2017 will see innovators, technology entrepreneurs, government stakeholders, academia and the business community come together to share ideas. Dr. Tacheba said this will all be carried out in an effort to sensitize stakeholders and the public on current developments that have been taken by BIH in line with its mandate of ensuring that Batswana are aware of the role of innovation in diversifying the economy.
Tacheba further explained that they look forward to seeing key stakeholders such as Minister of Tertiary Education Dr Alfred Madigele and other leaders from relevant institutions who can work with BIH to form a viable platform for the development of innovation in Botswana. He said they expect about 250 innovators to participate and showcase their skills during the event.
Tacheba pleaded with the media to assist in spreading the mandate of BIH in a more simplified way for easy comprehension to the general public.
Speaking at the same press conference, BIH Director of ICT & Marketing Tshepo Tsheko said it was imperative that innovators choose their target market based on the demands of the end users of their products. ‘‘If people live in an area where water is scarce, it will only be wise to innovate around solving their problem,’’ he said as an example. Tsheko said the event will host a hackathon that will see hackers putting heads together to try and come up with solutions to different problems in various sectors such as banking.  ‘‘Please note these will be ethical hackers,’’ Tsheko reassured and went on to explain that it is unfortunate that when people hear of hackers they think of the negative yet there are ethical hackers whose job is to come up with positive solutions to information and technology problems.
BIH Public Relations Manager Tigele Mokobi said Innovation Botswana 2017 will be the first of what will then become an annual event.  ‘‘Going forward it will be titled ‘Innovation Botswana’ followed by the year in which it is held. We look forward to moulding it into a coveted platform that will become a think tank for Botswana’s best strides in innovation’’, Mokobi said.

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