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India, Russia train Batswana for knowledge-based society

Botswana Guardian


India and Russia are contributing to the dream of Botswana’s knowledge-based society by training Batswana in various disciplines.

This past week 12 Batswana women - nine from Maun, two from Mochudi and one from Shoshong – were inducted ahead of attending the ‘Training illiterate/semi illiterate rural women on Solar Electrification and Rainwater Harvesting5, at The Barefoot College in Tilonia, Rajasthan, India from 14th October 2019 to 15th February' 2020.

Unveiling the candidates at India’s High Commission Chancery in Gaborone, Ambassador Dr. Rajesh Ranjan expressed delight that 50 Batswana have been sent to Barefoot College under the flagship programme, Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) since his arrival in Botswana in March 14th 2018. Speaking at the same event Assistant Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Moiseraela Goya said that government was refocusing power generation from coal to solar. He said the critical skills the women would acquire in India would contribute to the requisite technical skills required for transforming the economy from resource-based to knowledge-based. Goya said they could talk to Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry to form a Cooperative on Solar so that these women’s skills could be harnessed and maintsreamed into national development agenda.

He said these women could become trainers of other rural women and spread skills on solar electrification since the country has no money to put up the Grid throughout the country.

“Solar is the way to go”. Goya said appealing to the women to focus on their studies during the five months in India and to represent Botswana well as ambassadors. Another batch of 12 rural women that had attended the same training programme was scheduled to arrive Sunday at SSKA but their flight was delayed in New Delhi and only arrived this week Tuesday. On the same Thursday afternoon Minister Goya addressed 21 students that have won Russian scholarships to study in Russian Universities. Speaking at the event held at Russian embassy staff residence, Russian Ambassador to Botswana Victor Sibilev described the young students as the future of Botswana, the “most talented and educated” that should transform the economy of the country. Ambassador Sibilev revealed that Russia and Botswana would be celebrating the Golden Jubilee of their diplomatic relations on 5th March 2020.

A beneficiary of the scholarship Collin Batsile (19) who completed his BGCSE at Moeding College in 2018 told this publication he was going to study General Medicine for six years at the Russian National Research Medical University in Moscow. The young lad from Goo-Lobekwa in Kanye radiated joy as he contemplated a bright future for himself and his country. Another ben­eficiary also from Kanye, Kgwadi Baoki said he was going to study Oil & Gss General in Samara, Russia.

Ambassador Sibilev advised the students to not fear since some 14000 African students are cur­rently studying in Russia. He said Russia provides 1500 scholarships every year. Minister Goya said the number of Russian scholarships to Botswana has increased two-fold since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Russia and Botswana in June 2016.