BA ISAGO University Launches Climate Change and Entrepreneurship Centre
BA ISAGO University has made another stride in the Education sector. Through its Faculty of the Built Environment, Arts and Sciences (FBEAS), the University launched the first ever Climate Change and Entrepreneurship Centre on the 20th of October 2022. The launch was held at BA ISAGO University Convention Centre under the theme: Climate Change and Entrepreneurship; An Opportunity for Africa.
Giving the welcome remarks, BA ISAGO’s Vice President of Academic Affairs and Research, Professor Aloysius. C. Mosha lauded the Faculty for such an initiative that will seek solutions to problems facing the region and the world such as forest fires, floods and droughts etc
. Professor Mosha further said, “because of the harrowing effects of climate change, it is no longer a future concern, but requires action now,” therefore the launch of the Centre came at a crucial time.
When introducing the Centre Mandate, the Dean, Faculty of the Built Environment, Arts and Science, Professor Branko Cavric, alluded that, “the core activity of the Centre will be research and training to enhance the University research output through workshops and short courses to stimulate professional development on Climate Change.” He mentioned that it was a special occasion, given the Centre has international collaboration with the support of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).
Honorable Minister Philda Nani Kereng, Minister of Environment and Tourism, presented an overview of climate change Issues, challenges and opportunities in Botswana and SADC.
She applauded the Centre for being the first of its kind in Africa and commended the University for having an innovative drive. She further mentioned that the Centre will address the country’s development issues to restore food sufficiency and build an economy that is sustainable to create jobs post-COVID-19.
For his part, UNDP Resident Representative in Botswana, His Excellency Mr. Balázs Horváth spoke on Incentives for Entrepreneurs to Avert Climate Change from Carbon Pricing. He said, “There is a need for the world to transition rapidly to renewable energy to achieve Zero GHG emissions.” He emphasized that “we have a choice to either act now with lower costs or be forced to act later with high costs and risks which will greatly constrain room for maneuver.”
The keynote speaker Dr. Richard Munang, Deputy Regional Director of the United Nations Environmental Programme, presented Climate Action Entrepreneurship as an Opportunity for Transformational Development. D. Munang boldly declared that this Centre was the first of its kind, not only in the region but in Africa. He also applauded the University for such a great initiative, that will empower young people to seize the occasion in reimagining solutions that will catapult the continent‘s progress to the greatest heights. He said, “The built environment is one of the hardest hit, therefore, the primary goal will be creating climate change action for Entrepreneurs of the present and future.” He concluded by declaring that though the nucleus of the Centre is in Botswana, its catchment area extends to all corners of the African Continent and the globe. In his last words, he mentioned that BA ISAGO University has done what needs to be done to champion climate action entrepreneurship and light the path for transformational climate action.
BA ISAGO’s Managing Director, Mr. O. B. Gabasiane emphatically spoke on BA ISAGO University’s contribution to Climate Change. He said that the climate change threat in Africa affects everyone and that Botswana is not resilient to climate change, hence the need to launch such a Centre. He noted that the University has adopted several initiatives that are meant to mitigate climate change challenges such as the landscape and green spaces that have become the University’s trademark. “The University has also committed to rainwater harvesting, recycling grey water for watering gardens, and the use of boreholes” he added. Furthermore, he said the academic staff were seized to seek solutions that deal with climate change-induced challenges through various fora such as Research Days and International Conferences hence the birth of the Centre, one of its kind in Africa. The Managing Director stressed that this was a collaborative initiative with between Staff, Students and Management, with University adopting several initiatives designed to mitigate climate change challenges. “For instance, the landscape and greens spaces that have become our trademarks are essential in creating a healthy environment for those who visit or study at this Campus. Again, as we are aware of the erratic rain patterns in Botswana, the University is committed to rainwater harvesting, recycling of greywater for watering the gardens, as well as the use of boreholes,” he revealed.
He further observed that the University is delighted to participate in such a collaborative initiative with the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). Lastly, Mr. Gabasiane stated that “the University has committed to some of the key plans such as the promotion of youth empowerment and engagement in climate action, running of short courses and conferences, and partnering with like-minded organisations to reforest degraded areas in and around the city.”
Honorable Minister Philda Nani Kereng, Minister of Environment and Tourism, officially launched the Centre and Tree Planting at BA ISAGO University together with BA ISAGO’s Managing Director, Mr. O. B. Gabasiane, UNDP Resident Representative in Botswana, His Excellency Balázs Horváth and the keynote speaker Dr. Richard Munang, Deputy Regional Director of the United Nations Environment Programme.
In her vote of thanks, the Centre Coordinator, Dr. Nomazile Chico thanked all delegates in attendance. She congratulated BA ISAGO University students for starting the “Conserve to Sustain Club which aims to take action and lead the conversation of climate change amongst young Batswana.”
On the same day, BA ISAGO Managing Director led Honourable Minister Kereng and other dignitaries present in officially opening “Meriting Square”, at the lush and evergreen BA ISAGO gardens, just outside the Convention Centre. Meriting Square is a facility for tea, lunch breaks, or working lunch; for both formal and informal meetings.
The launch ran for 2 days up to the 21st October 2022 and ended with a workshop where Dr. Richard Munang addressed youth on “Safeguarding Africa’s growth amidst Emergencies.”