If Botswana was a woman she’d be a woman in a tight red dress; there is simply nothing stopping her!!
Besides her unemployment rates (17.5%) and the population below the poverty line (20%), the country is on track to achieve the goals set out in the Botswana Excellence Strategy of 2008. Even if Imports are high and exports are low and foreign direct investment is booming. Botswana is doing well for and is sitting itself apart from many of its African counterparts. What really gives it that edge, that woman in the red dress vibe in my opinion is the Botswana Innovation Hub.
Created by the Botswana Excellence Strategy the Innovation Hub aims to produce the perfect environment for a knowledge based population which can further elevate the country’s status. Through the Innovation Hub which is recognized as a company they have been able to develop Botswana’s first Science and Technology Park which enhances research, supports new and old businesses that may require some help in addition to increasing competitiveness and promoting networking. Innovation hubs have been the trend across Africa such as ‘iHub’ in Kenya, ‘iLab’ in Liberia and ‘Wennovation’ in Nigeria it goes without saying that Innovation hubs have been identified as a solid way of growing your business. What makes the Botswana Innovation Hub different is the fact that it is government sponsored and managed. As much as other governments are all for entrepreneurship as a source of job creation there are no African governments that have had a direct hand in encouraging innovation hubs until now.
So what’s the actual good news? The Botswana Innovation Hub has been bestowed full member status by the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP). The announcement was made at the IASP Africa Division Conference that was held in Gaborone in late April. The full member status is not simply a pretty trophy that Botswana can place in its cabinet but it brings real value to the members of the Hub; these include networking on a global scale and the authority to influence policy of the ISAP. Reading behind the lines one can see that it will also further foreign direct investment in the country as well.
Photo Credits: Botswana Innovation Hub