Mimi Machakaire and Lijeng Ranooe
THE United Nations in Lesotho has collaborated with Vodacom Lesotho and Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) to establish a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) corner in the Limkokwing library in Maseru aimed at providing students and other stakeholders with information on SDGs.
The reading material and other resources will be supplied by the United Nations.
UN Resident Coordinator for Lesotho, Salvator Niyonzima, hailed the partnership, saying it had the capacity “to promote and spur innovation and leverage new technologies that can then be scaled up or replicated for wider impact”.
“The telecommunications industry in Africa has shown some great examples not only of innovation for development through mobile cash transfers and the use of mobile technology to advocate health and education and for data collection and real-time monitoring, but also of partnerships with governments to widen the scale of these efforts and then replicating these modes in other African countries,” Mr Niyonzima said.
For his part, Limkokwing Deputy Registrar, Moroka Hoohlo, said that young people have responded to change and rapidly embraced the new advancements influenced by the current economic shifts.
“This calls for institutions of higher learning to find ways of assisting students and graduates to embrace a shift from being served to being servants of Lesotho.
“As LUCT we need the UN in order to achieve our objective of developing young empowered future leaders of Lesotho as part of the SDGs to better the lives of people.
“We also need each other as partners to further develop our young people into universal leaders with global competencies that allow them to participate in human development worldwide,” Mr Hoohlo said.
He that it was this background that Limkokwing felt obliged to enter into a formal working platform with the United Nations in order to achieve zero hunger, quality education, decent work and economic growth as well as issues relating to innovation and creativity.
“The UN should use Limkokwing University as a vehicle for achieving SDGs.”
Vodacom Lesotho Cooperate Affairs Officer, Tsepo Ntaopane, said through the Vodacom Foundation, they sought to make a meaningful impact in people’s lives.
“Some of the initiatives that we work on are in the health sector, education, gender equality, environmental and safety security. For example, if we were to make a change in the country we have to have a healthy generation. This healthy generation must be educated, not in the traditional sense but education that will enable people to think of innovative ways of creating employment.
“How do we turn these tools to make it easier for the younger generation to get access to education? The only way we can do that is to make education based applications accessible via smartphones and we believe that we cannot do it alone. We have government partners and the UN family through its various agencies in Lesotho that we can partner with,” Mr Ntaopane said.