Botswana and Yale Partner on Improving Sustainable Land and Water Management

Students and researchers from YSE will advise on collaborative work plans and initiatives, aimed at meeting Botswana’s environmental priorities and aligning with the work of YSE faculty and students.
yale botswana partnership
Pictured, from left: Eddie Mandhry, Yale’s Director for Africa and the Middle East; Yale President Peter Salovey; Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of Botswana; and YSE Dean Indy Burke.
The government of Botswana and Yale University signed a Memorandum of Understanding September 22 to formalize greater collaboration in areas that include water security and waste water management, sustainable land management, infrastructure planning, and urbanization.
 
Mokgweetsi Masisi, the President of Botswana, was on campus to sign the agreement, and was joined by Yale President Peter Salovey and Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean Indy Burke.
 
As part of the agreement, YSE will help establish a joint implementation committee of students and researchers that will advise on collaborative work plans and initiatives, aimed at meeting Botswana’s environmental priorities and strategically aligning with the work of YSE faculty and students. Per the agreement, this can include the exchange of information and resources; joint research projects; symposia and workshops; and research and internship opportunities for students.
 
“There is an understanding within many African nations that sustainability is critical to protect the health of both people and the natural world,” says Burke. “This partnership with Botswana places YSE in a position to not only help find solutions to these critical environmental issues, but can also provide our students with an invaluable learning experience.”
 
Formal discussions of a Yale-Botswana partnership began in 2019, when Masisi first came to Yale for a visit facilitated by Kefentse Mzwinila, a Yale graduate and Botswana’s Minister of Land Management, Water, and Sanitation Services. Masisi visited YSE and met with Marian Chertow, associate professor of industrial environmental management and director of the Yale Center for Industrial Ecology. During the 2019 visit, Masisi emphasized Botswana’s support of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and his interest in strengthening environmental management, in order to achieve a more sustainable economy.
 
During this visit, Masisi also delivered a lecture in the Yale African Leaders Forum series, titled “Botswana’s Vision for a Knowledge Based Economy,” which was followed by a Q&A session moderated by Eddie Mandhry, Yale’s Director for Africa and the Middle East.
 
PUBLISHED: September 24, 2021
 
Note: Yale School of the Environment (YSE) was formerly known as the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). News articles posted prior to July 1, 2020, refer to the School's name at that time.