Gaborone — The Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Mr Bogolo Kenewendo, on Tuesday launched the first ever "smart green" Botswana Makeathon at the University of Botswana.
Makeathon is a project where the trade ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology engaged students from different universities and technical colleges to take part in a challenge where a solar powered vehicle prototype will be designed and developed.
The event would take place on November 17-21 at the University of Botswana engineering laboratory. The car, which is still at the design stage, will be able to carry five passengers and a driver. Minister Kenewendo expressed gratitude to the German government for playing a big role in ensuring that the project is realised by engaging automotive industry partners to assist in building the industry and working on its fundamentals.
She said the German government would be working with some institutions by investing in machinery and engineering skills because they believe that there was capacity, which must be given a chance.
The project will build capacity and develop the technical skills that will be required by electric mobility industry or any other smart industry.
The Minister said her ministry will work with the private sector and other stakeholders to continue the momentum, adding that the project was the first of its kind to be launched in Africa.
The launch also entailed the revealing of the makeathon logo, which resonates well with the efforts of the ministry in propelling the Botswana economy towards industry 4.0 as well as a website, where participants will be able to register.
Other stakeholders at the launch said the invention was sustainable and can help solve transport problems locally, especially in rural areas, such as transporting children to school.