On 26th November 2020, Botho University once again made history by being the first institution in Botswana to hold an entire international research conference virtually. The conference themed ‘Research and Innovation for Sustainable Development in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ attracted participants from 31 countries across the world. Some of the countries represented, included Botswana, Nigeria, USA, Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, India, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Portugal, UK, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, China, Brazil France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Namibia, Tanzania, Lesotho and Eswatini.
In her welcome remarks, the Vice Chancellor of Botho University, Dr. Sheela Raja Ram, underscored the relevance of the conference theme as well as the sub-themes that addressed among other topical issues, the current CoronaVirus pandemic, sustainable development and innovation, digital economy and the challenges in the generation and supply of sustainable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa. On her part, the chief guest, Ms. Myra Sekgororoane who is also CEO of BTO said “We can no longer ignore factors that enhance what we do on a daily basis as we all do our bit to contribute to economic development. Key to these is ensuring that strategies, production, and solutions to our day to day activities are based on research.”
A total of 35 papers were presented in 3 parallel sessions and the conference main sponsor, Emerald Publishing, assured authors that the papers will be published in their various subject specific journals which are also indexed in Scopus.
At the end of the full day online conference, the PVC – Education and Quality, Dr. Ivy Rose Mathew, thanked all participants including the guest speaker Ms.Myra Sekgororoane (Founder CEO of Botswana Tourism Organization), the keynote Speaker, Karl J. Guggenmos (Dean Emeritus-Johnson & Wales University) as well as all the panelists for their valuable contributions. Special commendation was given to the Library, Teaching and Research Excellence Department (LTRE), the Blended and Distance Learning (BDL) team, and the Marketing team for their pioneering effort in hosting this conference virtually. She said “ The conference attracted at least 800 participants synchronously for most part of the day – that’s an exciting number for a virtual conference. The success of today’s conference is this high participation –we are truly grateful for your contribution and attendance.”