Botswana
Open Science Symposium

Advancing Open Science in Botswana - The Role of Stakeholders

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About the event

With the establishment of the Botswana Research and Education Network (BotsREN), the NREN and the library community are looking to foster open science and open access to playing a critical role in the creation, management, discovery and reuse of scholarship.

At the LIBSENSE Open Science Symposium – Botswana, key stakeholders spanning policy-makers, library communities of practice, researchers, social innovators and funders in Botswana will gather to discuss a wide array of open science matters, including infrastructure, policy and capacity building.

Co-located with UbuntuNet Connect 2022, the Symposium will be held in Gaborone at the Botswana Digital & Innovation Hub, Science and Technology Park on Wednesday, November 23, 2022.

This fourth iteration of the LIBSENSE Open Science Roadmaps in Botswana will seek to explore the following:

  1. Status of Open Science (OS), Open Access (OA) in Botswana
  2. Policy Framework on Open Access and Open Science
  3. Institutional Culture and Open Science/Open scholarship
  4. Building capacity to support open science, or investing in human resources

The event is organised by WACREN and jointly hosted by MCKT, MESD, Botswana Research and Education Network (BotsREN) and the Botswana Libraries Consortium (BLC).

Speakers

Hon. Dr. Douglas-Letsholathebe

Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills Development, Botswana

Hon. Dr. Douglas-Letsholathebe

Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills Development, Botswana

Hon Dr Douglas Letsholathebe was appointed to his role in 2019. He provides leadership in the overall policy direction of education and his department has responsibility for interpreting education policies for the delivery of quality education and skills as well as curriculum development and evaluation.

He ministry also provides special support services, educational planning and research services and the use of ICT and Media services for the learner from Pre-Primary to Tertiary level.

He is a prolific researcher who published extensively and internationally in the area of Material Science. He has also played various roles in the peer review and mentorship space.

He is a seasoned scholar whose experience and offerings cover secondary as well as tertiary education. He holds a PhD in Physics

Prof. Nelson Torto

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications, Knowledge and Technology

Prof. Nelson Torto

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications, Knowledge and Technology

Nelson Torto is a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications, Knowledge and Technology for the Government of Botswana. He is a former Executive Director of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), a pan-African organisation headquartered in Kenya, which aims to drive sustainable development in Africa through science, technology and innovation.

Torto oversees the mandate of the Ministry and seeks to help the government of Botswana realise a transformed economy through the generation and application of knowledge. He has had an illustrious research career, which has seen him publish over 130 papers, graduate 19 PhDs and several MSc students, being cited more than 2000 times since 2012, has an H-index over 30 and successfully filed for patents for his research in material chemistry where his group employed electrospun fibres for various applications.

He is a recipient of several international awards, including the American Chemical Society’s Young Investigators in Separation Science Award, the Award for Collaboration in Analytical Chemistry from the Nigerian Chemical Society, Osuni Chapter, and is an internationally recognised speaker. He has also served in various capacities in pan-African and international networks and organisations.

Prof Torto is a qualified and accredited Time to Think Coach and Time to Think Facilitator. He is currently enrolled on the Certified Ontological Coaching Programme.

He is a Fellow of the following science academies: the Botswana Academy of Sciences, the African Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society of Chemistry. He has a PhD in analytical chemistry from Lund University in Sweden, an MSc from the University of Botswana and a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Martiale Zebaze Kana,

UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa

Dr. Martiale Zebaze Kana,

UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa

Dr. Kostas Glinos

Science & Technology policy expert

Dr. Kostas Glinos

Science & Technology policy expert

Kostas is helping countries and organisations to develop and deploy STI policies. He has been developing EU policy and managing R&D programmes in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for the European Commission in Brussels since 1992.

Policy areas he has dealt with include open science and innovation, collaboration in research, industry-academia interaction, research commons governance, public-private partnerships' role, and international cooperation strategy at the bilateral and bi-regional levels. At various points, he has been responsible for funding programmes in future and emerging technologies, cyber-physical systems, ICT research infrastructure and data. Current research interests include the role of science in international relations, regional integration and conflict prevention, and science diplomacy.

During the academic year 2017-18, Kostas was a visiting Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National Univesity of Singapore, where he taught regionalism with ASEAN and the EU as the focus and advised on the interplay between technology and public policy. Before joining the Commission, Kostas worked in the chemical industry in the USA and Belgium, lectured at the University and carried out research in Greece. He holds a PhD in engineering from the University of Massachusetts and an Advanced Professional Certificate in investment management from Drexel University in the USA.

Prof. Shedden Masupe

CEO, Botswana Research and Education Network

Prof. Shedden Masupe

CEO, Botswana Research and Education Network

Professor Masupe is the Chief Executive Officer at Botswana Institute For Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI). He was previously a Full Professor of Computer Engineering at BIUST and an Associate Professor of Digital Systems and Computer Engineering at the University of Botswana.

His research interests are in the areas of Computer Systems, Microprocessor Architectures, Low Power VLSI Design, Computer Vision and Smart ICT Solutions for Development.

Professor Masupe has vast experience in both academia and Industry. He has worked for many years as an ICT consultant while coupling with varying roles in academia which saw him rise through the ranks of administration and academics.

Shedden Masupe (SMIEEE) holds a BSc (Maths & Physics) from Mt Allison University, BScEng (Electrical – Communications and Fields) from University of New Brunswick, MSc (Digital Systems) from Cardiff University and a PhD (Electronics Engineering) from Edinburgh University.

Naniki Maphakwane

Chair, Botswana Library Consortium

Naniki Maphakwane

Chair, Botswana Library Consortium

Mr. Tshepo Tsheko

Acting CEO, Botswana Innovation Hub

Mr. Tshepo Tsheko

Acting CEO, Botswana Innovation Hub

Mr. Tshepo Tsheko is the Director of Marketing & Partnerships at Botswana Innovation Hub. He assumed the role after a three year stint as founding Programme Manager of the Botswana Innovation Hub’s hybrid incubator/accelerator, First Steps Venture Centre (FSVC).

Tshepo has a vast international exposure amassed from three continents, extensive business networks and a wealth of work experience gained from global blue chip companies. With an extensive 10 years’ experience in the ICT and business administration fields, Tshepo has been a Business Analyst at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company in New Jersey, USA, Technical Consultant at Hewlett Packard in Chester, UK and Group IT Manager at Turnstar Holdings in Gaborone, Botswana. He has also worked as Systems Analyst and Senior Operations Associate – Technical Services at Bristol-Myers Squibb in the US and UK respectively.

Tshepo holds a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from the Pennsylvania State University, College of Engineering and is a promising candidate for a Master’s in Business Leadership for the University of South Africa, School of Business leadership. Tshepo is the Founder of Pivot Point, a human innovation company, born in Africa, which specialises in assisting individuals and companies to unlock and nurture their innovation potential so they can adapt, innovate and thrive.

Prof. K. Moahi

Deputy Vice Chancellor-Academic Services, Botswana Open University

Prof. K. Moahi

Deputy Vice Chancellor-Academic Services, Botswana Open University

Professor Kgomotso Hildegard Moahi has been in the field of higher education as an academic and administrator for the past 35 years. She obtained a Bachelor in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Botswana and Swaziland in 1982. She went on to work in the computing field at the Botswana Meat Commission as a computer programmer for three years, and then moved to the National Institution of Development Research (a research arm of the University of Botswana) as a database controller in that institution’s documentation center. She went on to study information science, obtaining an MSc in Information Studies from the University of Sheffield, UK and a PhD in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburg, USA. She taught in the Department of Library and Information Studies (DLIS) from 1992 to 2020. Kgomotso Moahi has taught and researched on the use of ICTs in information management and librarianship, promotion and protection of indigenous knowledge, health informatics, business information systems, information ethics, and ethical and legal issues of information management. She has published 2 edited books, 14 book chapters, and 28 refereed journal papers, 17 conference papers, she has presented 26 conference /workshop papers at various meetings locally and abroad.

Kgomotso Moahi has contributed significantly to the administrative and management side of the University of Botswana where she held a number of leadership positions. From 2002 to 2008, she served as the head of department of the Department of Library and Information Studies (DLIS) during which time she was promoted to Associate Professor in recognition of her contribution to scholarship in the area of information science. Kgomotso Moahi was promoted to full professor in November 2019. She served as the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities from 2008 to 2014, providing leadership for excellence in teaching, research, and engagement. She provided both policy and academic leadership of the Faculty and during her tenure, oversaw development of new academic programs, and expanding academic partnerships. She became Chairperson/Convener of the University’s Committee of Deans. Prof Moahi chaired a number of committees in the Faculty of Humanities as part of her stewardship of the Faculty; she was also a member of the University Senate (a body tasked with academic leadership); and was also a member of the University of Botswana governing Council for two terms. In 2017, she was appointed acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Botswana, and returned to her position as
professor in 2018.

Kgomotso is married to Lucky Tebalebo Moahi, and they have been blessed with three children, Refilwe Motsetselele, Neo Wandile, and Kaelo Sabelo.

Peter Mazebe II Mothataesi Sebina

Deputy Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Library and Information Studies

Peter Mazebe II Mothataesi Sebina

Deputy Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Library and Information Studies

Peter Mazebe II Mothataesi Sebina completed his PhD 2006 at the University College London on ‘Freedom of Information and Records Management: a learning curve for Botswana’, a Master of Archives and Records Management with a dissertation on 'Managing Government Registries: A new challenge for the National Archives.' Peter has taught, resourced training workshops and seminars, researched and consulted in the area of archives and records management, legal aspects of information in both the private and public sectors in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia. He is a member of several local and international professional bodies; sits on numerous editorial boards, is a peer reviewer for renown journals and other publications. He supervises research and examines in the same areas listed above

Iryna kuchma

Open Access Programme Manager, EIFL

Iryna kuchma

Open Access Programme Manager, EIFL

Iryna Kuchma has been managing the EIFL Open Access Programme (EIFL-OA) since 2008. Working in collaboration with libraries and library consortia in more than 60 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe, she advocates for open access to research results, facilitates the development and implementation of open science policies and infrastructures, and provides support and training.

An expert in open access, open data and open science, Iryna has published several works (see the full list here), and contributed to recent reports including ‘Fostering Bibliodiversity in Scholarly Communications – A Call for Action!’; ‘Towards Sustainable Cooperative and Non-APC Publishing Models’; ‘Training in the European Open Science Cloud’, and ‘RDA COVID-19 Data Sharing Guidelines and Recommendations’.

Vasilis Koulolias

ICT advisor to the President

Vasilis Koulolias

ICT advisor to the President

Vasilis is the Director and founder of eGovlab; an applied research institution at Stockholm University, Department of Computer Science – Sweden. eGovlab is a unique government testbed focusing on Public Sector Transformation towards future service delivery.

As a social entrepreneur, technologist and mentor, Vasilis has dedicated over two decades to improve good governance while bridging the gap between citizens, local communities and policy makers. His success to date is based on building strong relationships between government, industry, civil society and the research sector shifting societal transformation towards inclusion, transparency and efficiency in developed and developing nations.

He currently serves as the Programme Chair of the International Council for Information Technology in Government Administration (ICA) comprised of Government Chief Information Officers; an advisory member at the World Economic Forum (PACI), and a programme/project evaluator at the European Commission. During his tenure in the Industry, Civil Society and Government, he was placed amongst the Top 10 most influential players in the field of Politics and the Internet, a finalist in the INC magazine Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Indiana Growth 100 and has been featured in several books and publications including “Business@the Speed of Thought” by Bill Gates. Vasilis has published several articles on how ICT can improve governance. He is an Economist, Technologist and Political Scientist (International Relations) from Indiana University.

Omo Oaiya

Chief Strategy Officer, WACREN

Omo Oaiya

Chief Strategy Officer, WACREN

Omo is WACREN’s Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). He leads the development, execution and sustenance of WACREN business plans and initiatives. He was the pioneer Chief Technology Officer of the organisation and continues to work with development partners and sister regional networks on the technical development of high-capacity Internet network infrastructure for research and education.

Dr. Ayanda LEBELE

Director, Library & Information Services BIUST

Dr. Ayanda LEBELE

Director, Library & Information Services BIUST


Dr. Lebele is an extensively experienced librarian who has grown from working in public, special research and academic libraries. In the process she learned how to manage the resource in these different types of libraries and especially the information access and usage patterns of the patrons in these libraries.

Ayanda also holds a PhD in library science which she attained from the University of South Africa. Her professional journey has made her to appreciate and value the different entities as they interact within the library and information eco-system.

She importantly places high esteem on librarians as professionals who provide access to the information resources. She also advocates for empowerment of librarians as lead participants in today’s information led economic environment.

Dr. Lebele’s research area is in informatics, with more emphasis on the use of Information and Communication Technologies for socio-economic upliftment.

Jan Seanego

Director - Library and Information Services at Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN)

Jan Seanego

Director - Library and Information Services at Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN)

Poloko Ntokwane

Manager-Knowledge Management and Dissemination (BIDPA)

Poloko Ntokwane

Manager-Knowledge Management and Dissemination (BIDPA)

Ms Poloko Ntokwane joins BIDPA as a Knowledge Management and Dissemination Manager from the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) where she worked as a Librarian from 2014 to 2019. She has had an illustrious career as an Information Professional and worked in all the spheres of the profession at public, special, diplomatic, schools, colleges and university libraries. This includes the US Embassy in Gaborone where she worked from 2000 to 2006.

While at the Embassy she received a number of awards which recognized her outstanding performance and dedication towards re-designing and maintaining the Embassy website, Acting Director of the Information Resource Centre and for going an extra mile in managing the press filing Centre during President’s G.W. Bush’s historic visit to Botswana.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies, a Bachelor’s Degree in Library and Information Science, Diploma in the same field and Diploma in School of Ministry and Biblical Studies. She has also attended several professional workshops and skills enhancing courses overseas and locally.


Radijeng Kgomotso

Knowledge Commons Mgr., Botswana Institute for Tech Research & Innovation

Radijeng Kgomotso

Knowledge Commons Mgr., Botswana Institute for Tech Research & Innovation


Kgomotso Radijeng is the Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI) Knowledge Commons manager responsible for information and knowledge management, as well as Research Management.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Law (LLB) from the University of Botswana (1999), a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science (MScLIS) from the Catholic University of America (2002), and a Post Graduate Diploma in Knowledge and Information Systems Management from the University of Stellenbosch (2014).

She has worked as a librarian since 2000; first as the Law Librarian at the University of Botswana Library (2000-2007), Resource Centre Coordinator at BNPC (2007- 2014), and Knowledge Commons Manager at BITRI (2014 -).

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