Recently, Rutgers University in New Jersey signed an agreement to launch the Botswana-Rutgers Knowledge Collaborative, a joint initiative to exchange knowledge through technology and develop programs that help Botswana address its strategic development goals as the country emerges as a regional hub of southern Africa.
“This agreement goes beyond the traditional institutional academic agreement – it is not a partnership between Rutgers and a single university or a consortium of universities, but a partnership with an entire nation,” said Robert L. Barchi, president of Rutgers University. “We are discovering common interests and opportunities, and learning how we can share our expertise to help tackle major issues and cultivate the next generation of leaders with skills and expertise in priority areas sought by Botswana’s leadership.”
The broad partnership will focus on health care, information technology, higher education and research, entrepreneurship and innovation, civic leadership, and other needs to help Botswana transform from a predominately natural resource-based economy into a knowledge-based one. The collaboration will create a knowledge hub in Botswana, powered by the same technology that enables digitally connected classrooms at Rutgers.
“A recurring theme of the agreement is access,” said Michele Norin, senior vice president and chief information officer at Rutgers. “We’re going to help create a knowledge hub, which will provide a platform for regular communication between Rutgers and partners in Botswana as well as educational consulting and training programs. The hub will also serve the needs of new businesses, government offices and educational institutions in Botswana.”