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Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology (MIST)
MINISTER JOHNIE SWARTZ TOURS BOTSWANA INNOVATION HUB SITE
23/05/11
MINISTER JOHNIE SWARTZ TOURS BOTSWANA INNOVATION HUB SITE

The Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology toured the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) site on 17 May 2011. The Minister was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Carter Morupisi and the Acting Coordinator of the BIH, DrBudzananiTacheba. The Botswana Innovation Hub is one of the six hubs that were formed by government with the aim of diversifying the Botswana economy which has been heavily reliant on diamonds for many years. The hub focuses on attracting international businesses in such sectors as the ICT, Mining Technologies, Energy and environment and related fields. The construction of the site began in October 2010 and the whole project is expected to cost around 126 million Pula. This project entails construction of roads infrastructure, drainage and sewerage systems, as well as water and power systems. The current phase of the project is expected to be completed by October 2011.

After this phase of the project, the site will now be ready for building construction to commence. This is a 57 hector plot that will cost hundreds of millions of pula to complete. Government has requested the private sector to partner with it in helping fund this multimillion pula project. The private sector is expected to help fund with as much as three to four hundred million pula in order to enable the project to kick start in earnest. This will give them a shareholding capacity.

As such Hon. Swartz and his entourage’s tour of the site was intended to get first-hand information on how far the project is progressing and also to emphasise to the contractor that government desires all its projects to be finished in time and within budget. The contractor, Arup Botswana, when briefing the Minister emphasised that it was their intention to finish the project in time. They however acknowledged that they were a bit behind schedule, but promised the Minister that they will make up for the time lost so that they can meet the deadline.

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