The Baisago University earlier this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tactical Emergency and Rescue, a local search, rescue and relief company.
“We want graduates of these programmes to set up their own businesses to help curb the high unemployment rate in the country, a perspective from the owners and founders of the university, who started as educators before setting up Ba Isago to meet the human capital needs of Botswana,” Tadu stated.
According to Molefi Kebonye, Director of Tactical Emergency, the partnership means his company and the university will develop courses ranging from short to degree programmes with assistance from South African rescue NGO Rescue South Africa. Tactical Emergency was formed to respond to the backlog from government in this field according to Kebonye who added that rescue in Botswana is not well resourced and insufficient. The company provides fire operations, emergency medical services, fire prevention and investigation amongst other things.
Explaining why Baisago was an obvious choice, Kebonye said his company was impressed by the quality of the university.
“After a bit of research we found out that apart from having quality programmes, Baisago was open to new programmes,” he said.
He further explained that after 15 years as a fire fighter he decided to use his one-year-old company to give back to the community and link with the South African rescue NGO for capacity.
Kebonye’s ambitions include up-skilling the fire department, Botswana Defence Force and the youth to world standard as well as spread into the SADC region.
As investors come into the country, Kebonye said they need assurance that their investments will be safe hence the need for the course which will also be open to women.
To start with, Rescue South Africa will supply equipment and a lecturer to develop lecturers provided by Tactical Emergency. Next stage will see Tactical lecturers taking over the teaching while Rescue SA observes in order to build capacity.
The 21-year-old organisation will spend up to four years developing modules with the locals until there is no need to send anymore lecturers.
Rescue South Africa chief executive officer, Ian Scher said the idea is to develop a task force of trained response teams and prove that Africa can be self-reliant where rescue is concerned.
The objectives of the organisation include response to disasters regionally and internationally as well as building a cache of equipment to be used and building capacity regionally, nationally and internationally.
Scher further revealed that his organisation has taken part in rescue operations including Japan’s Tsunami in 2011 and Haiti proving that Africans are also capable.