Somewhere in this edition, we carry a celebratory story on a Botswana company that is being hailed even by the World Health Organisation for its effort to provide solar hearing aids or solar ear.
The company, which is based at Riverwalk Mall in Gaborone, boasts of having already sold 10 000 units of their product.
It is estimated that some 360 million people around the world would need the solar ear, which is being hailed as effective and cost saving tool as it can last for five years.
The local company, Deaftronics, is on the other hand targeting to reach 40 million clients in the developing world with its product.
Of interest, however, is the fact that the proto-type of this solar ear was developed and introduced to potential developers by a Botswana government owned technology institution, BITRI, previously BOTEC, over 15 years ago.
Today we are talking about a product that has the real potential to spin over 20 Billion US Dollars or over P315 billion, assuming all the estimated 360 million people in the world in need of this solar ear, are reached.
Now we are talking about a technology product that has become more precious than even gold, literally.
It is high time that the Botswana government register the copyrights for this rare
No one other than the government should be allowed to register this innovation as their copyright. We hear some clever individual is already going around the world claiming this is his innovation. This claim should be fought to the end.
It is interesting to note that several companies in a number of countries are currently working hard to manufacture the solar-ear for their various markets. While this is a welcome development, the government of Botswana which paid millions of its own taxpayers’ money into the development of this device many years ago, will not sit and watch while others make billions of Dollars from its investment.
The success of the solar ear as a commercial product should further strengthen Botswana government’s resolve in investing in technological research. Our government does not have to commercially produce some of these exciting technological discoveries such as the solar ear, but the copyrights can always be registered and royalties from the commercial products enjoyed for generations.