BOTHO University this week celebrated its 20th anniversary at a ceremony, which was graced by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane and other actors in the education sectors of Lesotho and Botswana in Maseru.
The university, which opened its doors in Lesotho two years ago, also presented its new Sustainable Growth Strategy (2018-2022), which will guide well-coordinated operations in Lesotho for the next five.
In his keynote address, Prime Minister Thabane congratulated the university on its remarkable achievements since its establishment in Botswana in 1997.
“It is notable that, in just two decades the university has firmly established itself as one of the leading multi-disciplinary private tertiary education providers in Botswana with aspirations to go regional, by offering a diverse range of programmes for both pre-service learners and in-service professionals,” Dr Thabane said.
He said he was pleased that Botho University was on course to be one of the preferred tertiary education providers in Lesotho.
“This is no small feat for a relatively young university. The Maseru campus is testimony to your continued focus on providing quality education not only nationally but also regionally and internationally.”
Dr Thabane said the university’s dedication to excellence, leadership, innovation, emphasis on quality, technology, staff development, student employment and stakeholder engagement and collaboration have become its hallmark.
“These strong fundamental principles are crucial for Botho University’s future growth and development. It is indeed heartening to note the investment made by the university towards building world class campuses.”
Dr Thabane further said that Lesotho needed institutions such as Botho, which offer human capital programmes that meet the diverse needs of the economy.
He said the government was pleased that the University was also in consultations with the Lesotho Institute of Accountants (LIA) for the implementation of a newly developed Lesotho Professional Accountancy Programme aimed at training professional accountants in both private and public sector financial management.
“We believe this is one of the educational programmes intended to address the country’s national accounting needs that will help us to improve on accountability, transparency and reporting in the use of public finances,” Dr Thabane said.
He said the government encouraged such developmental partnerships and would like to see other tertiary institutions taking a cue from the Botho University and LIA initiative.
“I also encourage continued support from the Ministries of Education and Training; and Development Planning in the implementation of this programme.”
For her part, Botho University Vice Chancellor, Sheela Raja Ram said the university was committed to contribute to Africa’s economically independence.
“The concept of this university sits at the centre of nation building. As a result, we see ourselves as partners to the governments in the countries we operate and would like to contribute to the process of building a resurgent strong Africa,” Ms Ram said.
She added that the university acknowledged the challenges and constraints in faced in most African economies, hence the university’s long-term Sustainable Growth Strategy. Through the strategy, she said, the university aimed to foster meaningful growth by increasing the breadth and depth of programmes across various critical disciplines; improving research capability; widening the university’s footprint in Africa; investing in existing campuses; providing opportunities for lifelong learning; internalising and increasing community involvement.
She also said that Botho would strive for initiatives that would contribute to the Southern Africa region, graduates talented in various critical disciplines which are essential for growth.
“We envision our students as future leaders of their respective communities and our role is to empower them with cutting edge knowledge and skills.”
“I wish to thank the governments of Lesotho and Botswana; industry partners and employers; regulatory bodies; international partners; our student body and alumni; and other community stakeholders for supporting us through the years to grow into a high quality educational institution,” Ms Ram said.