Govt formulates bill to fund science research

The government is drafting a bill to establish structures that will coordinate and fund future science and technology related research, President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has said.

Delivering the State-of-the-Nation Address on Monday, President Khama said in an endeavour to maintain up-to-date information on research and innovation, an online Research Information Management System (RIMS) was being developed.

He said the government was further enhancing an enabling environment for the uptake of science and innovation through various international collaborative initiatives.

In 2014, he said, the Botswana Institute for Technology, Research and Innovation (BITRI) identified solar powered lighting as an area with wide ranging applications including street lighting, car park, and mining zones.

He said street lighting had since been piloted in Diphuduhudu, Bere, Dukwe and Ngwatle and that further expansion was earmarked for other areas across the country.

Furthermore, President Khama said the mineral beneficiation programme was also underway with the setup of a laboratory and pilot plant for Coal to Liquid (CTL) technology to facilitate research efforts that could lead to coal products beneficiation.

“Construction of the Botswana Innovation Hub headquarters at the Science and Technology Park is still ongoing with the expectation that the park will be officially opened in 2016,” he said.