- Solution-driven research emphasised at launch of partnership
- Need to tackle problems that hinder Botswana’s economic growth noted
- Minister urges research for Botswana to escape middle-income trap
The Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA) and the National Agricultural Research and Development Institute, (NARDI) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the two think tanks harness synergies in research for national development.
Announcing the partnership and officially launching it, the Minister of Agriculture, Fidelis Molao, said the two research organisations have the potential to place Botswana as a leading player in the global economy. He described BIDPA and NARDI as important in advancing research and development backed by innovation to solve societal problems that hinder the country’s economic growth.
Minister Molao emphasised the need for research to be solution-driven, saying that research that is not backed up by solutions amounts to no research at all.
“Botswana is facing challenges, such as high unemployment, that require innovative solutions,” he said. “Research can also be a key to transitioning the country to a high-income status by 2023.” This is because research products of think tanks are key to formulation of policies in areas of development that can help Botswana to escape the middle-income trap. Molao emphasised countries that escaped the middle-income trap did not do so by chance but through research and product development.
Needs-based agricultural research
Also speaking at the launch, the Chairperson of the Board of NARDI, Mbatshi Mazwiduma, said the partnership will harness the depth of knowledge that exists in both organisations by leveraging on the historical background of BIDPA to deliver needs-based agricultural research to Botswana, the southern African region and the rest of the world. “I am hopeful that this event and going forward will put us in a foothold to produce research in a quicker manner and in a way that is more responsive to the economic needs of our country,” he said.
Under the MoU, the two institutions will collaborate in various activities such as joint research proposals to bid for national, sub-regional, regional, and international projects, and sharing of expertise and resources, seminars or conferences. The partnership will start with projects aimed at analysing energy transition as a factor in achieving sustainable economic transformation, carbon neutrality in Botswana, and assessment of tourism leakages in Botswana.