Botho University Library and Information Week
Botho University’s Gaborone Library Department celebrated Library and Information Week from 24th to 28th April, under the theme “Setting the gear towards sustainable developments”. The event brought together information specialists and consumers, from publishers, booksellers, and librarians to educators and learners.
The commemoration day, which fell on the 27th May 2017, was marked by a book industry exhibition and a panel discussion. Other activities held throughout the week included guided tours of the new and better-suited location at the Tsodilo building, thematic book displays and information sharing sessions on the history of the Botho University Library.
The objective of the panel discussion was to share past experiences, examine the current situation and open a dialogue for the realization of future achievements, such as UNDP’s 2030 strategy goals. Panelists from different library types gave an account of their experiences, particularly the transformation of the library and information systems of their time, as well as insight into how they position themselves in a rapidly changing environment.
Some interesting facts were revealed during the presentation of A journey through public, special and academic; for instance, that libraries in the 80’s communicated with users through a periodic newsletter and a mobile library was used to reach the most remote areas. These methods have since been replaced by advanced technology and the service takes several seconds, rather than several days, as was the case in the past.
A representative from BITRI’s Resource Centre shared how the organization transformed the physical library of old to the modern resource and information centre, providing an appealing picture for the tech-savvy. It is an ideal spot for research and current affairs, featuring an indoor café.
Trends in LIS education provided a glimpse into how changes inform the education and development of librarians. Such changes can be easily embraced when the programme is packaged to promote various formats, rather than solely “books on shelves”. Already some universities, including the local University of Botswana, are moving towards Knowledge Management to incorporate newer and broader topics.
The audience was given an opportunity to ask questions and offer feedback on the presentations. The primary concern for most tertiary institutions was, given the digital age we are operating in, how to balance the electronic format with the required print volumes, and still be accepted by regulatory bodies.
Botho Students “Helping Heal the Leaders of Tomorrow”
A group of five students from Botho University (Kesegofetse Motlapele, AhmedGabanamotse,Theetso Setlhabi, Elang Mosanana and Dunja Stevanovic) were tasked to undertake a Citizenship Action Research Project as part of the Communication Study Skills module.The aims of this project are to give students opportunities to become informed citizens,develop and apply knowledge and understanding andcultivate skills of enquiry, communication, participation and responsible action.The objective of the project is to assist the community through the spirit of volunteerism, donations or raising awareness.Participants are required to carry out the project in groups.
This group chose Princess Marina Paediatric Ward. Their main focus was to refurbish the playground and seating area,creating a bright and conducive space for our future generation receiving medical attention.The area was in a compromising state and a safety hazard.The volunteers fixed and painted some of the dilapidated benches and the jungle gym,and covered the area with artificial grass. Moreover, theylivened up the wardby painting the wallsin vibrant shades. On the 20th of May 2017, the playground was officially re-opened. Donationsvalued at approximately P54 000 were made, including toys, books, a trampoline,toiletries and other necessities.
The students would like to thank their sponsors:KhumoProperties (Pty) Ltd, Old Mutual Insurance Company of Botswana, Renew-It (Pty) Ltd and Hyper Home (Pty) Ltd for their generous contributions in assisting them to reach their goal, as well as Botho University for affording them the opportunity to give back to the community.
Botho University contributes to World Telecommunication and Information Society Day
The 15th anniversary of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day was commemorated at Masunga village on May 17th 2017. WTISD is commemorated every year the world over. The objective of the celebrations is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the internet and other Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as awareness of ways to bridge the digital divide.
This year the day was celebrated on the theme “Big Data for Big Impact”, focusing on the power of Big Data for development. The aim was to explore how to turn imperfect, complex, often unstructured data into actionable information in a development context.
A number of government and private organizations sponsored the event, including Bofinet, Water Utilities Corporation, Botswana Railways, Bocra, Botswana International University of Science and Technology, Mascom, and Department of Information Technology, to mention a few. As a private and leading higher education provider in Botswana for 20 years, Botho University also sponsored the event and expressed its commitment by presenting certificates to 15 students, who were offered free studies on ICT skills. The certificates were presented by the Dean of Office of Staff Student and Outreach, Mr. Mosoma Kgotla.
As a build up to the main event, celebrations started with International Girls in ICT Day on May17th. The campaign is meant to empower and encourage young women and girls to consider a career in ICT, by introducing them to possibilities and opportunities available in the field of technology. On this day girls gain insight into the ICT sector from a female perspective, through meeting women role models. This year four IT women from Botswana Post, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation, Civil Aviation Association of Botswana and Bofinet shared with the girls their career journeys in IT. All the ladies reminded the girls that hard work pays and encouraged them to use social media for their benefit. The girls were also given a chance at “hands on” experience in technology through practical experiments in the computer labs. Officiating on the day, Kgosi Maruje Masunga III noted that girls have been left behind in many areas, IT included. He emphasized that this is the chance to close the gap between the girl and boy child in terms of roles and capabilities.
WTISD official day – 20th May, 2017: Minister of Transport and Communication, Hon. Kitso Mokaila officiated the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day. The minister highlighted how the interactions of different data occur through mobile devices used in developing nations like Botswana, whose needs and habits have been poorly understood. The event was an opportunity to educate Batswana on the potential of channeling these torrents of data into actionable information that can be used to identify needs, provide services and predict and prevent crises for the benefit of our nation.
Hon. Mokaila also noted that Information Communication Technologies are intelligent, and if used accordingly would benefit the country and take it to another level.
Botho University exhibits at Business Botswana Northern Trade Fair
Botho University’s Francistown campus exhibited at this year’s Business Botswana Northern Trade Fair, which took place at Gerald Estates in Francistown.
The Business Botswana Northern Trade Fair is an annual event where organizations from different sectors showcase their products. Staged from the 24th – 28th of May 2017, the Northern Trade Fair saw a wide array of exhibitors from various sectors of the economy. More than 100 exhibitors from the government, private, parastal and non-governmental organizations gathered under one roof to share their different products and services with the community.
It was Botho University’s fifth successive exhibition. Customers expressed gratitude for the freebies they received from the BU exhibit, and both students and the general public were excited about the newly constructed Botho University Francistown Campus. All in all it was an incredible experience for exhibitors and customers alike.
Botho University Talent Show 2017 Article
They came, they sang, they conquered!
The 2017 Botho University Talent Show, hosted on the 30th May 2017 from noon to 6pm, left the audience in awe. They were treated to spine-tingling, thrilling dances, vocalisms and rhymes, which reverberated through the majestic Otse Multi-Purpose Hall.
Students took the opportunity to showcase their hidden gifts, and their performances indeed revealed talent of a very high order. This unmatched experience will no doubt be a sign of things to come in arts, culture and recreational activities for the new semester.
There was intense competition between the performers to steal the hearts of the hard-to-please fans. A group of artists backed up by melodies from young deejays offered a true reflection of cultural interaction, beating the drums of African house music, while a poem recited by one of the students brought the house to a standstill. Another hit of the day took the form of popular music genre “Motswako”, a mixture of rap and afro-pop. However, it was the Wa Polka dance group that stole the show with dazzling, crowd-pulling moves.
All the performances were spot on, with the students presenting a combination of maturity and raw talent. About 300 students attended the event. The top three performers will participate in the upcoming Bokgeleke Arts and Cultural Festival in October 2017.
Setting the gear for Excellence
Botho University’s 20th anniversary launch celebration was well attended and supported by all members of staff. The event was marked by deep appreciation for Vice Chancellor Dr. Sheela Raja Ram in the hearts of the staff, for her hard work, dedication and clear vision for Botho.
Her vision (which has become the BOTHO vision), has culminated in the success story that is Botho University at 20. We as the BU community aim to realize this vision, and we wish to thank her for the efforts she has put into establishing a larger presence in Botswana and Lesotho, and in providing world-class education in the developing world – Lesotho in particular.
The Vice Chancellor’s speech compelled all of us to #set the gear for excellence as one Botho family and unleash our full potential. It also evoked the aspiration to continue being a part of the transformation of Botho University.
In a similar manner, 20th Anniversary Logo winner Sechaba Ramabele encouraged students to raise Botho to even greater heights, by setting a standard for them to follow.
What a privilege to have come so far! We look forward to many more years of excellence, leadership and innovation.
KHOTSO! PULA! NALA
20TH Anniversary Celebrations: Francistown Campus
The Botho University 20th Anniversary celebrations kicked off in Francistown on the 15th May 2017. Vice Chancellor Dr. Sheela Raja Ram and Pro Vice Chancellor for Employability and Development Mrs. Priya Iyer visited the campus.
It was a beautiful day, during which the BU community had the chance to reminisce about our beginnings as NIIT and the transition from Botho College to Botho University. The Vice Chancellor offered inspiring words about never giving up on our goals and empowering ourselves through furthering our studies. She also took the time to remind us that we are a family, and together we can achieve another 20 years. We discussed some of Botho University’s plans for giving back to the community during the 20th Anniversary celebrations, such as the provision of sanitary pads for selected schools.
We took the opportunity to interact over delicious snacks, and were serenaded in an exceptional performance by the Botho University choir.
Botho University celebrates class of 2017 Graduation-Francistown
The Botho University Class of 2017 finally got their hard-earned reward at their graduation ceremony, held in July. The Gaborone campus was not alone in its jubilation as cheers also emanated from the Francistown campus. The Francistown ceremony, which was held on the same day, was graced by the Northern Regional Manager of Business Botswana, Mr. Kebaabetswe Bogatsu, amongst the many parents who gathered to wish the students well on this important day.
In her welcome address, Mrs.Priya Iyer congratulated the graduates on their hard work, told them that this was a new beginning in their lives and welcomed friends and family who came to celebrate the success of the graduates. Emphasizing that we lived in a global village, Mrs. Iyer pointed out that the graduates could work anywhere in the world. She spoke about the furthering of one’s education, urging graduates to consider getting their Masters ’to make them more marketable to future employers.
Mr Bogatsu’s keynote address touched on the foundation of Botho University. He informed the graduates that he used to attend the University back when it was still a computer training institute. He encouraged the graduates never to give up on their dreams, adding that he understood their challenges, having been on that road before. He advised them to become entrepreneurs and create employment. In his closing statement, he spoke of the many opportunities Botswana had to offer, especially in the manufacturing sector, and how they could enter this industry and be innovators. He then thanked the parents and the Botho staff for supporting the graduates throughout the course of their studies.
It was a fulfilling day for all in attendance, but especially for the graduates as they entered a new phase of their lives.
ICE Botho Partnership
INFORMATION SHARING PLATFORM UNVEILED
On Wednesday, 14 June 2017, an MOU was officially signed by I.C.E Session founders, 19 Minutes Media & Botho University. This was the official launch of the partnership and the unveiling of 03 Beverages as a sponsor, with members of the media in attendance.
The partnership was formed through the Student &Alumni Affairs Department eLab, the unit responsible for sparking student and alumni interest in entrepreneurship.It serves to implement one of the objectives of the eLab, which is to host impactful inspirational talks by influential entrepreneurs, game changers and innovators. This will be achieved through I.C.E Sessions focusing on Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship.
The first I.C.E Session took place on Thursday, 6 July 2017 at the Botho University main campus, where speakers for the evening were Alpha Direct Insurance Co. Founder & CEO, Mr. Arun P. Iyer and 03 Beverages MD, Mr. Ebrahim Mahomed, with Mr. Larona Makgoeng as the moderator.
The initiative will go the extra mile by producing the sessions and packaging them in such a way that they will be distributed through digital platforms to reach a wider audience. This is especially imperative as the eLab will use the resulting mileage to position its brand as the leading Entrepreneurship Development initiative in the country, especially amongst academic institutions.
Gakgatla Service Day
Botho University through Botho University Community Outreach Club (BCOC) and the Student and Alumni Affairs Department (SAAD) embarked on a Community Project on Saturday 17th June 2017 at Gakgatla Village – Kweneng District. The intention was to contribute towards the Botho University’s aspirations of ‘being a leading driver for positive social change. The event was graced by area MP Hon Minister Mr Tshenolo Mabeo and the youth at Gakatla village.
Also present: Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture (MYSC) Products and Services Behavior Change Youth Development Fund, Library Services for People with Disabilities and Junior Chambers Botswana.
The goal of this project was to empower the community of Gakgatla by affording them platform to create awareness on available services offered by different organisations in an effort to socially and economically empower different communities of the country. The primary target of the “All Services Fair” is the youth who are the largest constituency of the population. The target includes the lowest income populations, particularly the vulnerable women and children who are affected by the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Orphans and their caretakers formed the core of the target participants. The project will encourage community members to take advantage of the available services offered by the government, the Non-Governmental Organizations and the Private Sector. They Kgosi, elders, Village Development Committee, Police Officers, Nurses, Social Workers and Youth were also present at the event.