BDIH Hosts Legatum Foundry Fellowship Immersion Event

Botswana Digital & Innovation Hub Hosts Legatum Foundry Fellowship Immersion Event

Gaborone, 26th January 2024 – The Botswana Digital & Innovation Hub (BDIH) successfully hosted the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Legatum Foundry Fellowship Immersion Event on January 26th, 2024. The event was graced by the President of the Republic of Botswana, His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, as the keynote speaker.

The objective of the event was to showcase the achievements of the MIT Legatum Foundry Fellowship participants from different parts of Africa, and encourage discussions on entrepreneurship, innovation, and inclusive economic growth within the continent. The event further served as a platform for networking and collaboration with key stakeholders in the entrepreneurship and innovation sector. Among the invited guests were, policy makers, the local business community, innovators, academics and members of the media.

The MIT Legatum Foundry Fellowship, a prestigious six-month program, focuses on accelerating and interconnecting Africa’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems. The fellowship targets accomplished leaders at an inflection point in their entrepreneurial journeys, with a cohort-based approach that includes personal leadership seminars, MIT faculty coursework and tours of innovation ecosystems.

Acknowledging the finite nature of natural resources, particularly diamonds, President Masisi emphasised the need for economic diversification and outlined the national strategic development plan, “Vision 2036,” aiming to transform Botswana into a knowledge-based economy. Highlighting Botswana’s journey from a struggling nation at independence in 1966 to a middle-income country with world-class infrastructure and a high sovereign credit rating. Highlighting that it is through the Botswana Digital and Innovation Hub that we as a nation look forward to realising a thriving tech-driven and innovation-led sector through the various services the Hub offers. President Masisi urged intentional collaboration between government, entrepreneurs, and ecosystem players to achieve sustainable development.

The Honourable Minister of Communications, Knowledge and Technology, Mr. Thulagano Merafe, echoed his enthusiasm as he welcomed the Legatum Foundry Fellows to the nation, stating that they extend their hand in partnership and collaboration. He continued by emphasising that they recognise that innovation knows no borders, and together, they can harness the power of entrepreneurship to address not only the challenges in the continent but also the opportunities that lie ahead. “We equally look forward to your close collaboration with our national innovation agency, the Botswana Digital and Innovation Hub” Honourable Segokgo shared.

In conclusion, the Minister extended a hand in partnership and collaboration to the MIT Legatum Foundry Fellows, encouraging engagement, exploration and collaboration to shape a brighter future for Africa and the world.

Closing of the ceremony, the Acting CEO of BDIH, Mr. Diane Mongudi, extended his appreciation to Ms. Dina Sherif and the entire Foundry Fellows for finding Botswana as a fit destination for their ecosystem tour. Stating that as a National Agency BDIH has the great responsibility of stimulating enlightening conversations around innovation, constantly seek opportunities to expose our start-ups and innovators to potential investment, to valuable linkages and areas of collaboration.

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