The first Change Makers of Botswana project answers the question of what makes us uniquely Batswana by identifying people who have inspired change, built Botswana to its position as one of the most prosperous countries in Africa, attracting international tourists to its magnificent eco-destinations and boasting the biggest diamond mine in the world.
It is the unique passion of the people that has created a country that is recognised not only for its prosperity, but also for its forward thinking, peaceful rule and the innovation of its leaders and young people.
It is a fact that technology is fundamentally transforming our world and that the path to success in the astonishing milieu that is being created involves learning new skills and ways of doing things. Innovative thinking is at its essence.
In Africa the change is especially dramatic, as the entry points have skipped the era of early development. Super-sophisticated technological communication networks have become available even in the remotest and poorest areas.
Those who embrace the phenomenal opportunities that are emerging are rightly thought of as Change Makers. And they are to be found everywhere: people who understand how technology can help the best ideas and concepts to prosper. The success of their work and energy can be seen in the imaginative and bespoke solutions out there that dazzle in every field of human endeavour, from medicine to sport management, banking services and business solutions.
The change in the nature of how we do things is driven by the youth, the fresh thinkers who have grown up with screen devices as their tools rather than yesterday’s pens and pencils.
In celebration of Botswana @50, we have honoured 50 Batswana Change Makersfor their contribution in fashioning Botswana, an evolution that enables the country to be an innovative hub with one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.
This venture, tackled in partnership with GabzFM, honours those who have significantly helped transform business, society, politics, academia and culture. Nearly 1 000 entries were received, with KPMG and a panel of independent judges tasked to identify Botswana’s top 50 Change Makers of 2016. The editor of GabzFM chose an additional 10 for the Editor’s Pick Award.
GabzFM and the Mail & Guardian Africa hosted a conference focusing on The Future of Employment. It brought together home-grown doers, movers and shakers to explore the future as they see it, one in which so much that is familiar today might be turned upside down. What will you need on your job CV tomorrow?
We have also included the first set of young people participating in the Target 20 000 programme and invited them to attend the conference and to perform at the gala banquet where the 50 Batswana Change Makers and Editor’s Pick will be named.
We look forward to working further with GabzFM and the private, public, civil and academic sectors on additional projects that will boost innovation and growth for Batswana.
Anastacia Martin is managing director of the Mail & Guardian Africa