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Botswana

Botswana group poses with President Roderick J. McDavis and other university faculty and staff

Photographer: Ben Siegel

Botswana

Mogotsa Kewagamang (left), coordinator of Botswana's Education Hub, chats with President McDavis

Photographer: Ben Siegel

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Botswana delegation visits University to talk business development and education


A delegation of health and education officials from the African country of Botswana visited Ohio University on Monday to meet with Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis and representatives of several departments and colleges.

The nine-member traveling group, which mostly comprised representatives from the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) and Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA), attended the U.S. National Black Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta over the weekend and decided to visit Athens before returning home.

The business group's goal was to understand and evaluate the University's economic development business model that focuses on the small and medium scale (start-up and growing) businesses and also understand the role that the Innovation Center plays in this development.

"We continue to be excited about our Innovation Center because it serves as an incubator for small businesses in our area, which is one of the poorest in the United States," McDavis told the group. "We see a responsibility for economic development in this region and our College of Business has been a leader."

McDavis also told the delegation that the Innovation Center currently supports about 19 businesses and that he is encouraged by the technology transfer from the lab to the workplace.

"It can work," McDavis said. "We've taken that model and we're discussing with the state how the Innovation Center can be used as a model of how to develop small businesses. This is a great area for collaboration and cooperation."

Mogotsa Kewagamang, coordinator of Botswana's Education Hub, said he came to Athens to finalize the logistics of the five future Cutler Scholars who will attend the University in fall semester 2013. The scholarships will be primarily sponsored by the Botswana government.

"We would like to invite whoever works with the Cutler Scholars program here to create the necessary motivation to the students to come and study here," Kewagamang said. "In March, we will begin to interview students who want to come to Ohio University."

Thanks to the efforts of Beatrice Selotlegeng, coordinator of diversity recruitment and retention programs in Ohio University's College of Business, the Botswana delegation was able to consult with representatives from the Department of African Studies, College of Business, Center for International Studies, Manasseh Cutler Scholars Program, Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs and the Patton College of Education during their visit.