Botswana Innovation Hub Signs the KitsoWorks Memorandum of Understanding
Microsoft Corporation seeks to bridge the gap for job seekers and aspiring entereprenuers through the youth empowerment and employability online portal, KitsoWorks
Botswana, November 10th, 2014- Botswana Innovation Hub has partnered with Microsoft Innovation Centre and the Department of National Internship Programme in the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture to establish a Youth Empowerment Programme that facilitates skills development and transfer to young unemployed Batswana graduates. The three partners have signed a Memorandum of Understanding today on the support and training of Botswana interns within the private sector.
KitsoWorks is a localised version of the Global Microsoft YouthSpark platform that provides Botswana youth with a job search function, youth mentoring and social and professional networking opportunities. The youth empowerment and employability programme tackles ICT graduate unemployment by according graduates seeking jobs and business opportunities the option to submit their credentials to an online platform and database where they can be searched by those looking for talent and vice versa. The graduates deliver value to a pool of participating local companies and in turn receive structured mentorship from their host organisations.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Botswana Innovation Hub CEO, Alan Boshwaen said that Botswana Innovation Hub’s strategic partnership with Microsoft Corporation has resulted in the establishment of Microsoft Innovation Centre. KitsoWorks is a product of the continued search for new ways of extending and building on our partnership with Microsoft Innovation Centre to maximise its potential impact and adoption of world class technology, innovation and skills for graduates, he said.
This is an exciting programme that will not only have a significant impact locally, on skills development for the workforce but support technology based start-ups that are developing solutions for local challenges, said Boshwaen.
Commenting on the partnership, Microsoft Country Manager for East and Southern Africa Eric Odipo said that the portal was necessitated by the need to bridge the information gap for job seekers, aspiring entrepreneurs and graduates by providing a network of accessible opportunities on various openings as well as necessary training on how to start a new enterprise.
We hope that KitsoWorks will become a national authority on employability and entrepreneurship that will bridge the gap for job seekers, aspiring entrepreneurs and the young people of Botswana. Our aim is to match the right skills to appropriate jobs, equip youth with the necessary training, tools and knowledge required to succeed in their desired job, he added.
Boitshepo Bolele the Director of The National Internship Programme, present at the ceremony said that KitsoWorks is connecting young people around the world with opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship. “The initiative spurs national efforts to tackle the scourge of unemployment while fostering technology transfer and creating new scientific and technological business opportunities,” she added.
In addition, Microsoft Innovation Centre Manager, Patel Barwabatsile said that KitsoWorks leverages the knowledge, expertise and creativity of industry players and harnesses their technology transfer to build the country’s innovation ecosystem that invariably addresses the country’s socio-economic challenges such as youth unemployment. “The KitsoWorks portal (which is available at www.kitsoworks.co.bw ) will help unemployed Batswana graduates gain the necessary skills for seamless integration into the emerging digital economy,” he concluded.