Botswana has not only offered Liberia 25 scholarships amounting to P3m per annum, but she will also start to export locals who have just completed their tertiary education for internship in that country and two other sister countries in the continent.
Minister of Education and Skills Development, Pelonomi Venson- Moitoi who is currently in a working visit in Liberia at the invitation of that country told Botswana Guardian in an exclusive interview that the Liberians will soon arrive in the country to study in different fields such as teacher training and science related courses at respective tertiary institutions including the newly opened Oodi College of Applied Arts and Technology (OCAAT) and Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST).
Venson-Moitoi said this is part of government strategy to sell its education hub to the world so that countries can start to send their nationals for training here and generate money for government and its institutions. The education hub was established to position Botswana as a regional centre of excellence in education. The main objective of the hub is to attract the best institutions in Botswana so that they could also attract students from other countries to study in the country. Botswana government offered this special package to Liberia last May following a plea by the president of that country, Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf when officially opening the OCAAT.
It was after her appeal that Venson- Moitoi assured her that Botswana government would offer them special package scholarship to Liberia for its nationals to be trained at OCAAT. This week Venson-Moitoi told Botswana Guardian that she and her delegation went to Liberia following their invitation to come and help them on selection of students that have been offered special packages and awarded scholarship including discussing the areas of what they are going to study.
“Our aim is to conclude selection this week in order to enable the Liberian students who would have been selected to study their respective studies to come to Botswana this year,” she said. She said Botswana has also asked for 20 slots to send “our children for internship in areas such agriculture, mining, environment and IT,” in Liberia. “We have so far asked two other countries in Southern Sudan and Malawi to allocate us at least 20 slots each so that we could also send them our children for internship in order to help to provide them with skills whilst our children are gaining experience in Botswana.”