July 1, 2021

Spotlight interview – Mmoloki Makoba


Mmoloki Makoba is a graduate researcher at the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) finalising her thesis on “Gasification of Botswana Coal for Synthetic Gas Production”. She is leading on two funded projects: Electricity Generation from Botswana Coal, funded by Botswana Innovation Hub, and Production of Tar from Coal in BIUST, funded by BIUST. She also works as a consultant on coal database project for Botswana and Zimbabweans coal.

To mark the Sir Seretse Khama Day, a holiday in Botswana to commemorates the first President of Botswana on the anniversary of his birth on this day in 1921, Dr Akanimo Odon recently interviewed Mmoloki to find out a little more about her, her experience with RECIRCULATE and how she celebrates Sir Seretse Khama Day.

Please briefly share with us your professional history.

I started my PhD studies in 2012 at the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST). Between 2014 and 2016, I worked as a Metallurgist for the Tati Nickel Mining Company. I have then worked for BIUST as an University Teaching Assistant between 2017 and 2018 and a Teaching Instructor between 2018 and 2020.

How did you hear about the RECIRCULATE project and what has been your experience engaging with the project so far?

I firstly heard for the RECIRCULATE project through BIUST. RECIRCULATE has changed my mindset and approach to research. It showed me that collaborative work and community involvement is the best approach in research. RECIRCULATE has also enabled me to build professional and personal relationships with other researchers and other RECIRCULATERS across sub-Saharan Africa and the UK. RECIRCULATE has also made me more aware of the SDGs.

How are you celebrating or how will you be celebrating the Botswana Independence Day?

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the government will probably declare a lockdown so I will be at home with my family. We will plan a game about history of Botswana.

What would you say are the two biggest challenge you face in Botswana in your line of work?

Funding & take up of ideas.

Are there opportunities you think can be explored bearing in mind these challenges you highlighted?

Botswana is generally a rich country. It will take sensitizing the policy makers on importance of investing in research. A lot has been done by the government in supporting research ideas and SMEs, investors need to take up ideas and make businesses out of them.

Any final thoughts about your country Botswana?

It is an amazing and stable country, we need to work a lot on building the country and industries.

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