The future of emerging technologies in Botswana is even brighter with the official launch of the Botswana Flying Labs. This latest addition to the Flying Labs Network is dedicated to nurturing future innovators by creating as many opportunities as possible for Batswana youth to embrace drones, robotics, and AI.
At the helm of Botswana Flying Labs is Sizwe Makepe, the founder and CEO of Ka Pula Drones, who noticed a significant information gap in the field upon returning to Botswana after a few years in Switzerland. While neighboring countries had already embraced drone technology at the time, Botswana’s drone industry had yet to get off the ground.
The 2022 Drone Conference in Zimbabwe hosted by Precision Aerial and Zimbabwe Flying Labs introduced Sizwe to industry leaders, including Flying Labs from different countries, and presented the opportunity to bridge this gap. Ka Pula Drones is now Botswana’s Flying Labs license holder, completing Southern Africa’s Flying Labs network. To increase their capacity for impact, Botswana Flying Labs are building a team of young Batswana from different industries and backgrounds.
Capacity building among the youth forms the core of Botswana Flying Labs’ activities. Through STEM programs and drone training, the team aims to give young people the opportunity to grow up conscious of the transformative power of technology. By nurturing these skills and knowledge among the youth, Botswana Flying Labs will create a generation capable of leveraging these advancements to address local challenges and contribute to sustainable development.
The STEM ka Setswana program, which will teach STEM in Setswana, is part of Sizwe and his team’s work to realize a future-driven Botswana. Accessibility to technological education remains a formidable challenge in many countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, as a vast majority of the information is unavailable in local languages. Believing that language should not be a barrier to the endless possibilities technology presents, Botswana Flying Labs have put themselves on task to unearth and nurture the brilliant young minds in the many small villages where English is not widely spoken.
STEM ka Setswana will launch in early 2024, with Mahotshwane village serving as the base for their pilot projects. From there, Botswana Flying Labs will expand the program to other villages nationwide in collaboration with different government ministries.
In addition, Botswana Flying Labs will continue offering other STEM programs, after-school activities in schools in Gaborone, and comprehensive drone training.
As we welcome Botswana Flying Labs into the Global Flying Labs Network, we remain thrilled to watch them work towards their goal of providing immersive educational experiences to the youth of Botswana. Subscribe to our blog for updates on their progress.