Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - 15:30

The Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) in partnership with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) officially launched the 2017 University Challenge on 1 June 2017 at Gaborone International Conference and Convention Centre.

Speaking at the launch, His Honour, the Vice President Mr. Mokgweetsi E.K Masisi commended both the CEDA and DBSA Board and Management for ensuring that they empower the youth with such an initiative. Mr. Masisi also thanked the Chairman of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions (AADFI) and the DBSA CEO, Mr. Patrick Dlamini for coming up with the initiative last year at the World Federation of Development Finance Institutions (WFDFI) 3rd Joint CEO Conference hosted by CEDA in Gaborone. In his speech, the Vice President stated that businesses today are facing a myriad of challenges, which are external factors over which enterprises may have no control, as well as internal factors relating to the capacities and abilities of entrepreneurs. The Vice President went on to say “The internal factors include lack of management skills, limited information and understanding of markets and finance, a lack of awareness about the value of business support services” The Vice President implored both CEDA and DBSA to take the challenge on for many years to come. “The 2017 University Challenge must be the starting point of many challenges to come, I implore both CEDA and DBSA to reach further and make this challenge an annual competition”.  

In his address the CEDA Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Thabo Thamane said the challenge aims to identify practical solutions addressing Botswana challenges, as well as to inspire Botswana youth and students to deliver practical market oriented solutions to issues faced by Batswana. The University Challenge also aims to strengthen Botswana innovation ecosystems by mobilising innovation enablers from all business sectors across the country to contribute toward a conducive environment to fuel innovation across Botswana in support of national priority areas.” Mr. Thamane also assured Government and DBSA that this initiative will be well publicised and documented for future reference. Students making the top 10 will also be awarded with some incentives and the winner will be mentored to ensure that his or her project is implemented and rolled out successfully.

The University Challenge aims to award a monetary prize amounting to P200 000.00 should the winner be male and in an effort to encourage entrepreneurship amongst women an additional P50 000.00 would be awarded if the winner was a female. The challenge is open to the youth aged from 18-35 specifically those enrolled in institutions of higher learning accredited by Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA)  at Certificate, Diploma, Bachelors, Masters and  Doctoral Programmes. Mr. Thamane also expressed his joy in being given the opportunity to work with DBSA in a project of this magnitude. CEDA will continue to develop these guidelines and play a part in changing a student’s life.

On behalf of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) was Dr. Zwelakhe Tshandu who said that it was important for institutions such as DBSA and CEDA to develop programmes that aim to deliver on the needs of society and the African economies. He highlighted the importance of education by saying that education has to provide the kinds of skills the economies need in order to develop sustainably. He said “ It is vital for institutions to develop thinkers who can plan and see the relationship between politics, development and society’.

Following the official launch Mr. Thamane refered all to the CEDA website on www.ceda.co.bw to download the Guidelines and application forms. Further information shall be circulated to the public through social media, TV and print.


​For any clarity on this article kindly contact:

​Mr. Leatile Bakwena

​Communications Manager

​Tel: +267 399 1084

​Fax: +267 395 1823

email: lbakwena@ceda.co.bw