Botswana’s leading engineers have kick-started the process of manufacturing the country’s first solar-powered car. The process was kick-started by the former Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo at the University of Botswana (UB) a fortnight ago.
This will culminate in the unveiling of the five-passenger and driver carrying complete manufactured solar-powered vehicle from 17th to 21st November at the University of Botswana
Poised to be what’s been dubbed “the first ever Smart Green Botswana Maekathon’, the experts were drawn from UB and the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) with the support of Science students from local tertiary institutions. Smart Green Botswana Maekathon brings together a mix of passionate designers, creators and developers from different areas to transform their ideas into a unique and fantastic product. The green smart Maekathon also speaks to the theme of “Propelling Botswana to Industry 4.0”.
The UB Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Norris said the Maekathon was the first ever in Southern Africa and sets Botswana on the path to being a manufacturing disruptor. Professor Norris said the development of the solar-powered car in Botswana by locals is a clear sign that the young people have undeniably amazing creative skills.
“The universities as institutions of higher education should be leveraging the country onto the 4th Industrial Revolution. This maekathon has mobilised local students from areas of science and technology to lead the project, hence we are moving in the right direction,” Professor Norris enthused.
Professor Norris further cited similar projects that the UB is undertaking such as the solar-powered campus shuttle that the Faculty of Engineering is in the process of producing.
For his part, Engineering and Technology lecturer at BIUST, Dr Boy Sigweni, said the Maekathon is giving Botswana a 4IR wave too. He said for the solar-powered vehicle to be made locally is to explore the ideas of emerging smart green technology concepts that place the country in a good position to compete against the world’s best.
“First, we must fully believe in the potential of our people. We went out to benchmark against other countries that have set the bar high in relation to green technologies and we are going to make this solar car dream a reality. This maekathon is about two things; to design a solid solar-powered car and to offer Botswana solutions, “Dr Sigweni highlighted.
Please note the image of the car used in this post is for illustrative purposes only and is not representative of the car mentioned in the post.