Botswana: sparking creativity and interconnectedness

creativitiInnovation Hub is bold step toward joining the global knowledge economy

Building on Botswana’s macro-economic and political stability, along with its sophisticated financial services and reputation for good governance, Gaborone is now set to become an African centre for innovation.

Last month saw the official registration of the first companies that will operate out of Botswana’s Innovation Hub (BIH), which is set to be located on 57 hectares of veldt grassland outside of the capital. Some 270,000 square feet of office and laboratory space will be provided for technology and knowledge-intensive foreign and local businesses, as well as research and advanced training institutes. An AIDS research centre has already expressed interest in acquiring space inside the campus, which is being designed less as a business park and more as a community with interconnecting bridges, communal parks and meeting areas.

“Science and Technology Parks are sources of entrepreneurship, talent and economic competitiveness, and key elements of the infrastructure supporting the growth of today’s global knowledge economy,” says BIH Chief Executive Officer Alan Boshwaen.

Boshwaen said the first companies to be registered in the Science and Technology Park will benefit from a one-stop environment, providing all rounded premises and quality business services.

“The BIH will offer a truly world class business environment that complements the high technology image of companies operating in Botswana,” says Mr Boshwaen.

He says the nine companies—Southern Mapping, UB, AoB Academe, Weblogic, National Food Technology Research Centre, Kaelekae, RenderHeads, Tirisano Consulting and Bauer-Dewet Equipment—will be able to start benefiting immediately from the hub’s incentives and support services, and added that they are expected to move to the Science Technology Park when it is completed in 2013.

“The registration of these companies is another milestone achievement as the hub takes shape in terms of both buildings and the programmes,” said Mr Boshwaen.

“The BIH is about sparking creativity, interconnectedness, dialogues, that would not otherwise happen,” said Mr. Boshwaen.

When fully developed, the BIH will consist of world class facilities including state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure with high capacity international connectivity and secured power, professional business services, and business development services. The business services will allow companies to concentrate on their core business and outsource the rest. The development programmes, together with the support for R&D and the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship, will make BIH an ideal place for business development. The image and the branding of the Botswana Innovation Hub is also an essential part of the concept.

Written by Nick Lyne