Gaborone — Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Dr Alfred Madigele, has encouraged tertiary institutions to respond to the country's economic needs by addressing the challenges of mismatch between training and the needs of the economy.
"As we strive to move Botswana from a resource- based to knowledge based economy, we wish to encourage intuitions to walk this journey with us and to respond to the needs of the economy," he said.
Giving a keynote address during his first visit and tour of the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology recently, Dr Madigele expressed gratitude that the university was doing great things in the innovation space, which spoke to part of his portfolio under technology.
"I must say, what I saw truly attest to the fact that Limkokwing University, is at the forefront of transformation that is pushing innovation and creativity," he said.
Since its inception ten years ago, he said the university had done a lot and 'has opened our eyes to the heights we can reach by mining the nuggets of creativity that lies dormant in our young people.'
The students' work and the university's ecosystem, the minister said demonstrated how advanced students were and why Limkokwing graduates thought beyond employability.
"The ecosystem of this university is focused on creating experiences that mature a student, making them confident users of new technologies to express new ideas," he added.
The highlight of his campus tour, he said was his visit to the university's special needs unit and interacting with special needs students.
He commended the university for catering for students with disabilities, saying this would equip them with tertiary institution qualifications that would improve their livelihoods like their able bodied counterparts.
Botswana, the minister said needed to be at the cutting edge of change brought about by new technologies.
"We need digital whiz kids who understand the challenges that are facing our industries today and who are able to come up with solutions to address those problems. Throughout the African continent, exciting new technologies are emerging and these are creating wealth for individuals and countries," he added.
He applauded the institution's founder, Tan Sri Dato' Sri Paduka Limkokwing, for building it in Botswana, saying it was producing a new generation of skills needed in the country.
Prof. Limkokwing, Dr Madigele said brought a philosophy for education that proved that education was not solely about earning the degree, but about the holistic system of developing a whole being and preparing them to be valuable members of society and hardworking contributor to industry and an exemplary citizen.
Source : BOPA