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Dull Botswana Innovation Hub is business as usual hub

BIH headquarters
If the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) needs an appropriate name that suits its level of incompetence, here it is: Business as Usual Hub (BAUH).

“Innovative” suggests that this is a visionary organisation overflowing with not just innovative operations and processes but innovative ideas as well. That is far from being the case. An innovative organisation would have had water-tight procurement processes such that the screw-up with the construction of the BIH building in Block 8 that was revealed in the media last year would have been averted.

A telephone call placed to an innovative organisation would be answered on the second ring and not ring answered until the caller (me) gives up in frustration. An innovative organisation would have a website that not only wows you but is user-friendly as well.

If you doubt the latter, try filling out the “Membership Enquiry” application form on BIH’s website and sending it and see what happens. While at it, the one other thing you may want to try is registering for the “innovation” hub’s newsletter and see if you will get anything in the mail. My point is that if you can’t do very basic things, forget about being innovative. As a matter of fact, scrub that word completely from your vocabulary.

Government officials have to realise that some things are not yet possible for us.

If you visit the Google headquarters in the United States and are wowed by it, please don’t try to replicate what you saw there here because we don’t have a work ethic that made Google what it is. Your energies would be better spent if you just went to Game Stores and buy yourself an expensive, four-door refrigerator with the per diem left

over from your overseas trip than attempt to build a castle in the air.

For those who may want to associate BIH with anything new and cutting edge, please keep the following in mind.

Your mind and eyes have merely been tricked by the name and the impressive architecture of the BIH building. The fact of the matter is that BIH is just another government department that has adopted the same work ethic that is the reason your payment for services long rendered is still being “processed” after four months. The people who work there weren’t recruited from Google - some of them were probably redeployed from government departments (like Omang, Water Affairs, Immigration – basically all of them) where you have been mercilessly subjected to standard, taxpayer-funded Third World incompetence that characterises all of the Government Enclave and below.

This is the source of my frustration: I have stacks of degrees in IT and business management from prohibitively expensive universities in the west and back home, have yet to put them to full and good use.

I can’t get a proper job here – which is partly my fault because two months before graduating, I turned down very good job offers from Silicon Valley companies. Stupidly, I didn’t balance “home is where the heart is” with “overseas is where your skills will be appreciated”. It’s funny, I am able to communicate with former classmates in rural India than with an organisation that is located only 50 kilometres away from where I live.  Like I said, BIH is really BAUH.

Jacqueline Nare



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