BOTSWANA INNOVATION HUB FUND SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISSOLVED- AG

  • The Fund has never been operational since 2010

Auditor General Pulane Letebele says that the Botswana Innovation Hub Fund was established by Statutory Instrument No. 34 of 2010 for the purpose of monitoring innovation through technology, products and business development in the private sector by providing cash grants to companies and organisations registered with the Hub and to universities and research organisations. The Fund was started with an initial seed capital of P12 000 000 provided by Government.

“The Fund has never been operational since inception in 2010 to-date. It was in view of this that the Accounting Officer had informed the Public Accounts Committee during its 56th meeting on the 2016/17 accounts, that the balance of P12 000 000 would be disbursed to the “beneficiaries” [Government through the Consolidated Fund] during the 2018/19 financial year, following the establishment of the Botswana Innovation Fund and revocation of Botswana Innovation Hub Fund by Botswana Innovation Fund Order (No.93 of 2017), effective from September 2017.

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However, during the year under review a payment of P8 607 850 was made from the Botswana Innovation Hub Fund, instead of Botswana Innovation Fund, as the new operational Fund to facilitate the payment of grants to innovators and inventors and to meet the Fund administration costs.

In terms of the Public Finance Management Act (No.17 of 2011) the Botswana Innovation Hub Fund should have been dissolved immediately following revocation by the Fund Order establishing the new Fund.”