Following the emergence of Corona Virus pandemic in the country, the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) became one of the institutions that worked tirelessly to help the government by producing products that helped with the fight against the pandemic which have ravaged not only Botswana, but also the entire world.
Speaking at the virtual awards ceremony which was held to appreciate BIUST staff and students who took part in the production of the products, in Palapye recently, BIUST Vice Chancellor Professor Otlogetswe Totolo applauded the awardees for working determinedly to produce COVID 19 response products in a concerted effort to assist the Botswana Government combat the spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
Professor Totolo indicated that, BIUST was proud to have played its role in producing world- class research and innovation in science, engineering and technology, contributed to industry growth and development, and advancement of a diversified knowledge. “The products which were donated acraoss the country were produced by our very own staff and students in our laboratories which makes me very confident and proud to tell the world on the quality of graduates the university produces,” he said.
BIUST Vice Chancellor further recognized other stakeholders who include, Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) who worked with the University in the fight against the Covid 19 Pandemic by providing the mass soap production equipment which ensured sufficiency and efficiency in the production of the BIUST bathing and liquid soap. “This notion of awarding patriots who have contributed enormously to the fight of Covid 19 is also the relevant time to recognize the goodwill displayed by our industry partners such as Morupule Coal Mine who contributed BWP100 000 and the De Beers Group who contributed 10, 000 litres of raw materials towards supporting the production of hand sanitizer,” he said.
“Drone sprayers were modified by BIUST team in conjunction with the Botswana Defence Force which disinfected the air at the densely populated spots around Palapye…, another innovation is the development of a real-time dashboard for visualization of Covid 19 pandemic in Botswana, developed through collaboration with iThemba LABS and the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.,” he added.
For his part, BIUST Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs Professor Elisha Shemang said what the BIUST staff and students did is nothing short of heroism as they managed stand out when their country needed them. “It is time of crisis that heroes are born, today we concede BIUST personnel who did not only act heroically to produce Covid 19 response products during difficult time when Botswana needed experts to come forth to assist in combating the novel Covid 19 but confirmed existence of BIUST of changing the economy to a resource based one,” he said.
Furthermore, Professor Shemang said, the University, through the awardees has risen to the challenge with much resilience and courage. “This noble gesture made our university gain much needed recognition around the globe and attracted positive strides that will lead us to be a research extensive university that was intended to…it is evident enough that the research you carry is becoming fruitful and purposeful,” he said.