BGI BOARD SHOWS THE WAY
Botswana Geoscience Institute (BGI) Board of Directors led by its Chairperson Professor Motsoptse Modisi, has expressed their confidence on the infrastructure, facilities and seismological network of the Institute to contribute meaningfully to the national economic development agenda.
The Board Chairperson, speaking during the tour organised by the incoming Chief Executive Officer, Mr Olefile C. Mashabila, said with such infrastructure and networks, the Institute cannot afford to fail to deliver its Mandate and meet the needs of its stakeholders and customers. He stated that, in line with Botswana Government policy to attract investors to Botswana and increase foreign direct investment, BGI is compelled to take its position seriously and promote mineral discovery and contribute to overall sustainable development of Botswana’s mineral sector. He said BGI must create safer communities and livelihoods through monitoring of geohazards and related activities.
The Board noted that, BGI research will make Botswana a preferred destination for mineral exploration. However, they cautioned that, this will not happen in a vacuum or mysteriously as it requires quality research products that are reliable and can be subjected to tests. Access to BGI research work is very paramount. Digitalization and fast racking development of online platforms such as National Integrated Geoscience Information System will ensure that BGI research outputs are available and accessible to customers and investors at all times.
With reference to the impact of COVID 19 pandemic, the Board warned that, national budgets are generally going to shrink and this will obviously affect the way BGI has been doing business. There is therefore need to develop innovative ways to generate funds for itself sustenance. Income generating avenues like commercialising research products and services such as drilling and sale of data should be explored. The Board urged Management to take advantage of collaborations and partnership and share resources and avoid duplications and wastage. This shrinking budget says that everyone must do more with less. Innovation has never been important for the survival of businesses as it will be from now and into the future.
The Board highlighted the importance of BGI visibility in the public domain. They said this can be achieved through active participation in local events of Lobatse and other communities where the institute has operations. Visibility can also be achieved by deliberate actions to make BGI research activities known to the public. This will be a passage to the fulfilment of a mandatory task of promoting public understanding of geoscience and demonstrating its importance to resource and environmental issues.
The Board, expressed warm welcome to Mr Mashabila and expressed its pleasure for having agreed to join BGI and indicated that, he will not only bring skill and knowledge but also the energy from the private sector to drive BGI Mandate.
In concluding its tour, The Board reiterated its commitment to apply their diverse professional expertise, historical and tested knowledge, to deliver the Mandate as espoused in the Botswana Geoscience Institute Act. Management was urged to prioritise mindset change as one of the key elements for high performing organisations. They indicated that, living in the past can be a serious impediment for growth and success.
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