By Wandipa Gachala
The Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) is amongst the frontrunners in the transformation of Botswana’s economy from a resource-based to a knowledge-based economy. The 28th of July 2022, marked the official opening of the debating open tournament 3.0 under the theme “The Vice Chancellor’s Edition”.
Debates are a means of understanding the different perspectives that others can have about the same topic and how those perspectives are made. This helps to develop the capacity to view the same thing from varied and better perspectives. BIUST debate society (BUDS) is a debate and public speaking club that nurtures presentation skills, public speaking, and corporate negotiation.
The Society has achieved this through the active participation of its members in local and regional public speaking and leadership debate tournaments. The mandate of the club is to equip engineers and Scientists with proper interpersonal and communication skills beyond the scope of their curriculum activities.
When giving welcome remarks the Vice Chancellor, Professor Otlogetswe Totolo alluded that BIUST was set up to come up with products and services that can go out to the market. He highlighted that the young people that come out of BIUST were envisioned to be innovators and entrepreneurs in their rights because of the skills and competencies impacted on them.
“BIUST was set up to help the nation to diversify its economy through scientists and engineers that can enable the setting up of many entities like corporations and companies,” he added.
He urged the students to create employment to address competitiveness, economic growth, sustainable development, and shortage of skills in the field of Science, Engineering, and Technology. The elated Vice-Chancellor challenged the students to compete globally and create jobs beyond borders. He expressed his delight to be speaking and this special event, he encouraged the teams to identify issues and challenges within their societies and research around them to find solutions.
In his conclusion the Vice Chancellor stated that he is aware of the challenges that the students have competed in, conveying his appreciation for their hard work and excellent performance.
“As you debate your different topics, you must remember the colossal tasks before you because of the expectation the nation has on you. All leaders talk about diversifying the economy, they talk about the knowledge-based economy, and it must mean something to the BIUST staff and students. The economy will never be diversified unless you are out there in the market and truly making a difference,” he said.