News Date : 24 October, 2023
BUAN AND GABS JULY SIGNS MOU
Today, 24th October 2023 marked yet another glorious day in BUAN as the university was signing a memorandum of understanding with Gabs July, a local equine driven entity that organizes race meetings, maintains, and manages equine facilities.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof Ketlhatlhogile Mosepele explained that BUAN as a public university is responsible to facilitate the implementation of government policies and strategies. “It is government’s priority for Botswana to be a high-income country by 2036. This is part of the RESET agenda. We intend to play a key role in leveraging opportunities in the Agriculture and Natural Resources sector to actualize this government priority area”, Prof Mosepele said. He went on to state that the main aim of signing the MoU is to promote cooperation between BUAN and Gabs July in developing the equine industry, a market which is relatively niche to most Batswana. The equine industry is a key component of Agricultural and Ecotourism activities in Botswana. Key challenges in the industry include high costs of horse training , maintenance, health management as well as resourcing an acute shortage of equine experts. He said that BUAN is the only institution in Botswana with some of these experts.
The MoU will cover two major activities which are ‘Student exchange/attachments or placement opportunities’ and ‘Collaborative research’. The objectives of the MOU are to expose BUAN learners to the equine industry for application of their class learning and contribute to the development of Agri -Tourism industry. In this case Gabs July will assist BUAN with the following; afford the BUAN learners the platform to acquaint themselves with Agri-tourism skills; to empower them with skills to allow them to create employment for themselves and others.
Mr wiseman Ben, the Managing Director of Gabs July expressed his gratitude to BUAN for agreeing to enter into this partnership which will be beneficial to both parties. He said they have a wide range of equine which include horse jumping,endurance and insurance “Each horse has its own requirements and needs, especially dietary and health wise”, he said. He stated that the partnership will be beneficial in coming up with research documentation which will benefit other Batswana for equine diversity. He said Gabs July has a ranch in Ruretse which can be used by BUAN learners for research and hands on experience. “Preparation of horses before the race is mandatory. Care, grooming and overall management is key”, he said. He explained that students are gate keepers in the project as they can advise on the management of equine and provide much needed value chain. Preparation was more technical and believes that’s the area where students will excel and develop since they're expected to work with qualified Vets, whose role is crucial for vetting the horses before they embark in races.
In closing, the acting Dean, Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Prof Pfukenyi stated that the MoU is the backbone of what is requiref in order to fulfil the objectives og the two parties. His faculty as the implementing department will work hand in hand with Gabs July to come up with terms of reference and activities to be implemented in line with the MOU.