StanLib Lesotho today donated a modern-day high-technology laptop to the National University of Lesotho (NUL) Innovation Hub at the Roma campus. This happened during an inception meeting between the two organizations which was followed by a tour of the NUL Innovation Hub.
In his welcome remarks, NUL Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kananelo Mosito (KC) explained that as one of important NUL partners in development, StanLib’s intention was to come and learn about the activities of the Innovation Hub so they can identify areas of collaboration and sponsorship.
He welcomed StanLib’s initiative to discharge their Community Social Responsibility by sponsoring NUL projects and subsequently, assisting the entire nation. The laptop cost just below M60,000.
“We couldn’t say NO when a friend and partner offered to visit us and extend a helping hand as a way of participating in the development and promotion of the Innovation Hub activities and projects especially in an institution of higher learning such as a university. We are pleasantly surprised to receive a donation of a modern-day state of the art computer which will assist the Innovation Hub to execute its mandate”, said Prof. Mosito.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of StanLib Lesotho, Mr. Mohlabinyane Mohapi said they were truly honoured partner with and present a donation of a laptop to NUL through the Innovation Hub.
“As a responsible corporate citizen, among the many projects we would like to sponsor, the NUL Innovation Hub was chosen as one potential partner with major projects given what the Hub stands for and has done so far. We came here to learn about the NUL Innovation Hub so that when we go back to the office we will know what sort of projects we want to partake in; having had a thorough understanding of what the projects entail”, said Mr. Mohapi.
He explained that StanLib is not a new partner to NUL and therefore promised to continue with the other existing projects it is sponsoring at the University. As part of their corporate social responsibility, StanLib plans to partake in the successful promotion and growth of the NUL Innovation Hub.
“We thought it would be appropriate for us not to come empty-handed for the inception meeting at the Hub hence we brought with us this state-of-the-art laptop which will, among others, enable the Innovation Hub to keep a database of all the projects and the necessary data. We came to formalize this relationship with NULIH so that we can take a tour of the Hub so we know what innovations to sponsor as we plan to have a long-term partnership”, Mr. Mohapi added.
On behalf of the NUL Innovation Hub, the Dean of Faculty of Science and Technology (FOST), Assoc. Prof. Leboli Thamae thanked the donors and added that this state-of-the-art laptop couldn’t have come at the right time. He further highlighted that FOST is currently working together with the Office of Registrar General in the Ministry of Law and Justice to establish a Technology and Innovation Support Centre at the NUL Innovation Hub.
“NUL Innovation Hub has been identified as one of the main stakeholders that will participate as a Technology and Innovation Support Centre in the country and that will seek support from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to give access to a pool of patented databases and other scientific and technological resources that are available online. One of the requirements was for the Innovation Hub to have its own powerful computer in order to access all these databases as well as create its own. So it is a good gift coming at the right time; it is like you knew what we needed and provided it at the right time”, Prof. Thamae said.
As the Head of the NUL academic enterprise, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Beatrice Ekanjume-Ilongo expressed her gratitude to StanLib for directing their attention to sponsoring educational and research projects.
“Your donation will facilitate the activities of the Innovation Hub and we look forward to the different projects that you say you are going to get involved in. We really believe that together we are going to make not only NUL proud but the nation as a whole. I urge other corporate organizations to follow this example as they execute their corporate social responsibility mandate of giving back to the community”, she explained.
She further mentioned that the activities that the NUL Innovation Hub is engaged in are meant to build the nation and to strengthen the country’s economy but NUL cannot execute this mandate alone due to the meagre resources it has.
“We are one of the poor institutions in the sub-region and we rely a lot on donations and partnerships of this nature to help us achieve our mission. We promise gratifying fruits that will come out of our partnership”, she said in her closing remarks.
Established in November 2018, the NUL Innovation Hub is an optimistic endeavour of NUL that aspires to convert the text-book and laboratory based knowledge and raw ideas into successful start-ups and blooming businesses. In this sense, the Hub plays the role of a bridge between classrooms and the outside world. It prepares the crude business ideas to face the uncompromising challenges of the real marketplace so that they don’t crash under the ruthlessness of their competitive territory. The target is to change the Basotho community from being consumers to producers, to make an average Mosotho youth a job creator, rather than a job-seeker. And we strongly believe that it is possible!