When officiating at the graduation ceremony of Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) in 2017, the then Botswana Vice President and now President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi lamented that it was without a doubt that Limkokwing University is transforming the national tertiary education landscape by nurturing talent through creativity and design-focused thinking.
He said since the university established a campus in Gaborone in 2007, it has not just brought 21st century relevant programmes but it has also imbued the students with a unique fusion of African, Asian and European education thus better enabling Botswana to retain its brightest young people. ‘‘In partnering with Limkokwing University, the government was impressed with its unique and refreshingly different approach to tertiary education’’, President Masisi said at the time.
Twelve years later since it opened its doors to local students, Limkokwing University has become the most sought-after university in the country as young people who leave secondary school mostly prefer it as their number one tertiary institution of choice and this has been attributed to exactly what President Masisi spoke about; providing relevant programmes for the 21st century and hence contributing immensely to the human capital of Botswana and diversifying the economy with the provision of e-skills. For the Founder and President of Limkokwing University, Tan Sri Limkokwing, this vision has long been embedded in his drive to change the tertiary education landscape of Africa to match the demands of the students in the 21st century.
In one of the interviews he did way back in 2009, Tan Sri opined that today’s young generation is a different quality of people. ‘‘They are growing up in an era of technology that has enhanced connectivity and eased laborious work. It’s a digital world where the word ‘’instant’’ is moving from hours to minutes to seconds and now it is reducing further to nano-seconds’’, observed Tan Sri, the man who has been described by many world leaders as having an uncanny ability to stay ahead because he is able to discern the future.
Discern the future indeed because that is exactly how Tan Sri came up with the idea to set up a university in Botswana at a time when private tertiary enterprises were not generally considered by foreign investors. Tan Sri looked into the future and saw the potential that his university can turn Botswana into a rare gem in Africa. ‘‘In Botswana, we see the opportunity to change Africa’’, Tan Sri said at the time. The story of how Tan Sri ended up setting campus in Botswana is that of a man who does not put monetary returns at the forefront of his investments. He took a risk that no other person could consider in 2001 when he decided it was time he brought the university to the Botswana students after the government had been spending millions of Pula to send a few students abroad to acquire creative skills.
His bold move paid off as the university has since produced over 30 000 globalised, highly skilled and the most industry sought after graduates since it opened in Botswana in 2007. Described in some quarters as the man who designed the future, Tan Sri holds the belief it is creative people who build economies around the world. ‘’Anywhere in the world it is creative people who creat new business, new products, new media, new lifestyles, new trends, new standards, new heroes’’, Tan Sri stated.
Today Botswana thrives on graduates from Limkokwing University as they can be found in almost all the creative sectors of the economy in the country such as television production, radio, fashion design, graphic design, journalism and the creative arts.
Through the Limkokwing Entrepreneurship Acceleration Platform (LEAP), the university produces students who would be job creators rather than job seekers.
True to his word, Tan Sri did not just set up in Botswana and sit on his laurels. He ensured that the Botswana campus serves as a launching pad for other African countries as was witnessed by the opening of the Lesotho campus in 2008, followed by the Swaziland campus in 2011. The Limkokwing wings have since spread to other countries such as Sierra Leone which opened in 2018 with the Namibia, Rwanda and Uganda campuses scheduled to open next year, 2020.
Tan Sri Limkokwing has been instrumental in changing worldwide perception of Malaysian education and initiated closer collaborations with the Commonwealth and the United Nations where he has paved way for Malaysia to play a significant role. He is Chair of the Advisory Board; United Nations Global Compact, Malaysia. The Asia Pacific CSR Council awarded him the honour of Father of Responsible Innovation & Creative Education. He is a member of The World Federation of UN Friends and was also awarded the Salver of Honour by the World Federation of Friends of the United Nations. His lifelong journey empowering people and nations was paid fitting tribute when he received the Commonwealth Champions Award and is only the eight recipient of this prestigious award in the history of the Commonwealth.
He is truly one of the world’s most highly decorated citizens for excellence in innovation, communications, advertising, education and as an international peacemaker. Thousands of young people from around the world have gained a global tertiary education by virtue of the University’s pioneering and innovative education philosophy which is creativity oriented.More than 30,000 students study at Limkokwing University’s 12 campuses in Asia, Africa and Europe. Its main campus in KL’s tech-city, Cyberjaya alone holds close to 10,000 students, 80 percent of them from foreign countries and is the nation’s ground breaking University with unrivalled emphasis upon innovation and creativity. The University has changed the tertiary education landscape not only in Botswana but in every country the University has established itself.
Its inspirational ecosystems and global strategic outlook produces 21st century graduates who are leading social and economic transformational across the globe. For 50years, Tan Sri Limkokwing has passionately involved himself in nation-building and advocated transformation and innovation of human capital for developing nations and organisations – as key to a more equitable and peaceful world into the next decade of the 21st century.
Public Relations Department
Limkokwing University of Creative Technology
Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has launched an investigation on the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) for 35 missing motor vehicles at the agency. The case that was initially handled by Botswana Police has been moved to the corruption-busting agency after it was established that it would be difficult to establish criminal activities, as there has been no one coming forward with information.
Investigations by Botswana Guardian have revealed that the motor vehicles of different makes and models were bought during the reign of Isaac Kgosi who was fired as spy chief by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi. Information gathered suggests that the vehicles were bought for covert operations and they were bought cash from various car dealers. According to sources, the vehicles were not bought under the DIS name but using individuals’ names for covert purposes. It has since emerged that the vehicles were not entered into the inventory book for record keeping.
Some officers are said to have taken advantage of Kgosi’s sacking to keep the vehicles. Information about the missing vehicles was discovered when auditing was done at the spy agency. It was only last year when the DIS was being audited since its inception in 2008. It is alleged that DIS boss Peter Magosi roped in the DCEC to investigate his agency with the aim of getting to the root cause of alleged corruption activities at the organisation, which happened during the tenure of his predecessor. Police Commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe declined to comment on the matter and said the DIS is better placed to talk about it. Contacted for comment Magosi confirmed to this publication that the DCEC is investigating them.
He said all they want is to establish what happened to the motor vehicles. The spy chief said he would not go into details on the matter because it might compromise the work of the DCEC. He referred this publication to DCEC regarding the matter. DCEC public relations unit had not responded to a questionnaire sent to their office last week at the time of going to press. Magosi has been accused of trying his best to bring down Kgosi ever since he was sacked last year. Kgosi has been hauled before courts for allegedly taking pictures of DIS agents on covert operations and leaking such pictures to the media.
Magosi has since denied targeting anyone to revenge on anything but is fighting corruption which has resulted in the country losing millions of Pula. Magosi said he takes responsibility for the bad image associated with the DIS promising a new slate. Recently he told the media that the audit report is ready and he only awaits office of Auditor General to avail the report. A few weeks after he ascended to the Presidency on April 1st 2018, Masisi fired Kgosi and had him replaced with Magosi. When the DIS was established in 2008 under the presidency of Khama, Kgosi was appointed its first Director General responsible for direction, control, administration and expenditure of the Directorate.
Ever since his appointment Magosi has been a very busy man, conducting operations and searches all said to be targeted at mostly former President Khama’s allies, a move seen as a political witch-hunt by some. It was Magosi who then arrested Kgosi at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in the full glare of members of the public and the media while the former DIS boss was arriving from an international trip in India.
Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) Director General Brigadier Magosi says he is disappointed by former Minister Dr. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s claims that security agents are following her around the country. Dr Venson-Moitoi whom next week will challenge President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi for Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) presidency recently revealed that DIS agents have been following her around the country as she canvasses for votes.
He revealed that she has since expressed her concern to Magosi about the agents who are always following her. In an interview with this publication Magosi expressed his disappointment at the utterances made by the former cabinet member. He stated that politicians have the tendency of being paranoid and thinking that they are being tailed around by DIS agents.“She is one of the first people I engaged when the standoff between the president and his predecessor started.
“I requested that since she is the eldest between Dr Masisi and former President Dr Ian Khama and a senior BDP member she has to intervene. “I asked her to request the former to acknowledge that Dr Masisi is the current head of state and deserves the respect any president must be given.
“I went to her because I treat her like my mother,” said Magosi indicating that he was later shocked to see Dr Venson-Moitoi attacking his organisation in the media. According to Magosi, he has no reason to be following Dr Venson-Moitoi around. He said if he has any issue with her, he would go straight to her and state his case. Magosi explained that what is being said about his agents is not true, positing that DIS is not the only law enforcement agency that uses unmarked motor vehicles.
Magosi wondered why politicians would be the only ones among citizens complaining that the DIS is targeting them. He said his aim is to ensure that he runs a clean and respected agency. “I will never have the DIS accused of things that are not true. This is why I am going around the country to address councils to allay fears that the DIS is targeting politicians or members of the public.
“Under my leadership the DIS will not be accused of violating human rights in this country. Anything that could happen of such nature I will take stern action against perpetrators because I will never sanction such action.
“I will even take action before such acts are committed under my leadership,” he stated.
Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Bogolo Kenewendo says Botswana can leverage on global value chains and the use of technology as a new impetus towards her active participation on global trade.
Speaking in a panel discussion on future frontiers of global value chains at the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2019 that ends today in Davos, Switzerland, Kenewendo said some of the current challenges for Botswana have been logistics and labour issues, among others. “In the past we have been told that we are a small landlocked country, logistics are against you, labour issues are against you, so you cannot participate in global trade,” she said, adding that global value chains are bringing new opportunities for participation and changing the country’s narrative.
“We are seeing companies having interest in Botswana for manufacturing, especially in the components side of manufacturing, allowing Botswana to be the gateway to Southern African Development Community (SADC).” In addition, Minister Kenewendo stated that Botswana has also made significant investments towards human capital and infrastructure.
“For example, roads that are connecting Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, just to enable that positioning of being the gate way at the heart of the region.” Kenewendo said there is need for the World Trade Organisation and multilaterals to remove the bias that is thought to exist to cater more and accommodate developing and smaller economies into international trade.
However, it is critical to start at regional level of SADC and Southern African Customs Union with more planning going towards the development of regional value chains instead of having one mega economy that absorbs all manufacturing, but one that starts to spread out in the region. “That should be a deliberate measure,” she said.
Kenewendo is also convinced that countries like Botswana that need to diversify their economies need to look more at partnerships that will give them more access to international trade. “But we also have to do more not only in investment in infrastructure but also in legislative infrastructure and be willing to give incentives. “ For example, she said Botswana has prepared incentives including a five percent tax rate in order to lure more manufacturing companies into the country.
Botswana also places much emphasis on developing human capital. “That is where the world is going and for us to participate in global trade we should have a skilled manpower to be able to use the technologies as they arise.”
Statistics indicate that almost 60 percent of today’s manufactured exports are unfinished goods, which pass through global supply chains. Top factors that affect value chains include; emerging technological trends, services, lowering of trade costs, sustainability and geopolitics. Minister Kenewendo is accompanying President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi at the global forum.