Aug 29, 2015 BIH News

BIH Sings the KitsoWorks MoU

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 signed the KitsoWorks Memorandum of Understanding earlier today on the support and training of Botswana interns within the private sector.

KitsoWorks is a localised version of the Global Microsoft YouthSpark platform with a job search function, youth mentoring and social and professional networking features. 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 graduate’s 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 Botswana Innovation Hub’s strategic collaboration with Microsoft Corporation has resulted in the establishment of Microsoft Innovation Centre. “KitsoWorks is a product of the continued search for dynamic new ways of extending and building on our collaboration with Microsoft Innovation Centre to maximise its potential impact and adoption of world class technology, innovations and skills for graduates,” he said.

“We believe this is an exciting programme that will have a significant local impact on skills development of the workforce and supporting development of technology based start-ups that are developing solutions for local challenges,” said Boshwaen.

For her part the Director of The National Internship Programme, Boitshepo Bolele said, “KitsoWorks connects 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.”

Also speaking at the signing ceremony, Microsoft Innovation Centre Manager, Patel Barwabatsile said 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. He said, “The Botswana version of the programme will help unemployed Batswana graduates gain the necessary skills for seamless integration into the emerging digital economy.”