Gaborone, Botswana

University of Botswana
Gaborone, Botswana

The University of Botswana, or UB was established in 1982 as the first institution of higher education in Botswana. The university has four campuses: two in the capital city Gaborone, one in Francistown, and another in Maun. The university is divided into six faculties: Business, Education, Engineering, Humanities, Science and Social science. A Faculty of Medicine is scheduled to enroll students in 2009 as part of a collaboration with the University of Melbourne in Australia. Wikipedia.

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Letamo G.,University of Botswana
Journal of Biosocial Science | Year: 2011

The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of, and socio-demographic factors associated with, overweight and obesity in Botswana. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2007 using a multistage sampling method to select a representative sample of 4107 men and 4916 women aged 20-49 years. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify the socio-demographic factors associated with overweight and obesity. Mean BMI values for men and women were 21.7 kg/m2 and 24.4 kg/m2, respectively. Both overweight and obesity levels were higher among women than men. Overall, 23% of women were overweight compared with 13% of men. Obese women constituted about 15% compared with only 3% of men. However, 19% of men were underweight compared with 12% of women. The main socio-demographic factors associated with overweight and obesity were being older, living in a city/town, being married and having attained higher levels of education, and these relationships were statistically significant at the 5% level. Although over-nutrition is prevalent among adult female Batswana, underweight remains an important public health problem for males. Programmes and other interventions aimed at concurrently addressing both under-nutrition and overweight need to be developed. © 2010 Cambridge University Press.

The paper addresses an important and often overlooked cultural aspect of smallholder agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This relates to how different policy organisations conceptualise soil management problem, its causes and solutions and how these framings intersect with, and incorporate smallholders' indigenous knowledge. The article provides a brief review of the positionality of modernists and post-modernists on knowledge production and the politics which the process entails. Considering the ideology of some continental and global initiatives on integrated soil fertility management (ISFM), the paper identifies and addresses institutional framings of soil fertility problem in SSA. It also analyses the political economy [and ecology] of soil management in SSA; and investigates how farmers' knowledge are incorporated into ISFM in the sub-continent. Drawing from some empirical evidences, the paper suggests that there is need for an economically viable and socio-culturally acceptable framework for the integration of both western and local knowledge in ISFM. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Singh G.S.,University of Botswana | Mollet K.,Ghent University | D'Hooghe M.,Ghent University | De Kimpe N.,Ghent University
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2013

Unsymmetrical substitution of the epoxide moiety in epihalohydrins allows the introduction of chirality, making these molecules valuable substrates in enantioselective synthesis as well. As the concept of chirality has become an important issue and challenge in organic and medicinal chemistry, chiral epihalohydrins provide a convenient entry into a wide range of enantiomerically pure target molecules, including complex natural products. The hydrolytic kinetic resolution of terminal oxiranes has been reported for the first time using a Cosalen complex. A major and characteristic property of epihalohydrins is their high reactivity toward a wide variety of nucleophilic reagents, an effect undoubtedly resulting from the presence of three electrophilic carbon centers and the strain associated with the three-membered ring system.

Chaturvedi P.,University of Botswana
Journal of Medicinal Food | Year: 2012

Momordica charantia fruits are used as a vegetable in many countries. From time immemorial, it has also been used for management of diabetes in the Ayurvedic and Chinese systems of medicine. Information regarding the standardization of this vegetable for its usage as an antidiabetic drug is scanty. There are many reports on its effects on glucose and lipid levels in diabetic animals and some in clinical trials. Reports regarding its mechanism of action are limited. So in the present review all the information is considered to produce some concrete findings on the mechanism behind its hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects. Studies have shown that M. charantia repairs damaged β-cells, increases insulin levels, and also enhance the sensitivity of insulin. It inhibits the absorption of glucose by inhibiting glucosidase and also suppresses the activity of disaccharidases in the intestine. It stimulates the synthesis and release of thyroid hormones and adiponectin and enhances the activity of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Effects of M. charantia like transport of glucose in the cells, transport of fatty acids in the mitochondria, modulation of insulin secretion, and elevation of levels of uncoupling proteins in adipose and skeletal muscles are similar to those of AMPK and thyroxine. Therefore it is proposed that effects of M. charantia on carbohydrate and fat metabolism are through thyroxine and AMPK. © 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. and Korean Society of Food Science and Nutrition.

Singh G.S.,University of Botswana | Desta Z.Y.,University of Botswana
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2012

The unique potential of isatins to be used both as an electrophile and nucleophile and their easy availability have made them valuable building blocks in organic synthesis. The architecture of a spiro-cyclic framework has always been a challenging endeavor for synthetic organic chemists because it often requires synthetic design based on specific strategies. Due to steric strain, the presence of a spiro carbon atom induces easy rearrangements that can lead to different cyclic compounds. Recent years have witnessed emergence of asymmetric synthetic methods employing chiral auxiliaries or chiral catalysts with good stereocontrol furnishing products containing spirofused rings with superb enantioselectivity. In many cases, simple chemical transformations of the initially formed spirooxindoles have been performed to achieve spiro-oxindoles with different functionality.

Kasvosve I.,University of Botswana
Clinica Chimica Acta | Year: 2013

Ferroportin (FPN) is the sole iron export membrane protein identified in mammals that is abundantly expressed on absorptive enterocytes and macrophages, and is essential for physiological regulation of cellular iron. The expression of FPN is positively induced by cellular iron and is suppressed by liver hepcidin in response to either increased systemic iron or inflammatory stimuli. Hepcidin binds to cell surface FPN inducing FPN internalization followed by lysosomal degradation of the protein and consequently iron efflux from macrophages is blocked and there is suboptimal iron absorption by duodenal enterocytes. Dozens of FPN gene mutations have been identified in different ethnic populations and some of the mutations are associated with autosomal dominant iron overload disorder described as FPN disease or hemochromatosis type 4 that is distinct from hereditary hemochromatosis due to HFE mutations. Clinical manifestations of iron overload FPN disease can be classified into two groups according to whether there is selective macrophage iron loading or parenchymal and reticuloendothelial iron accumulation. There is evidence suggesting that altered hepcidin-FPN interaction can modulate host's response to infection. Resistance to hepcidin promotes iron egress from cells and this inhibits growth of intracellular pathogens. Conversely, iron retention due to loss of iron export activity by mutated FPN results in intracellular iron accumulation and a permissive environment for intracellular pathogens. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

The Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) program in Botswana aims at achieving conservation and rural development. In the Okavango Delta, some communities are involved in tourism through CBNRM to improve their livelihoods. However, research has not adequately analyzed changes caused by CBNRM on traditional livelihood activities and lifestyles. This study, therefore, uses modernization theory to analyze changes on traditional livelihood activities and lifestyles caused by CBNRM at Sankoyo, Mababe and Khwai villages in the Okavango Delta. Using primary and secondary data sources, results indicate that CBNRM is causing a decline in traditional livelihood activities like subsistence hunting, gathering, crop and livestock farming. As a result, a modern cash economy has emerged. New livelihood activities done by communities include: employment in CBNRM projects, the sale of crafts to tourists and thatching grass to tourism lodges. Income derived from CBNRM affords households to build modern houses, buy foreign foods and household equipment like: four-burner gas stoves, kitchen utensils, and satellite televisions. Conversely, this causes a decline in the consumption of traditional foods and the use of huts and household utensils. CBNRM is thus a modernization tool since it is causing a transformation of traditional livelihood activities and lifestyles. However, even though changes in livelihood activities and lifestyles may be an indication of the dynamism of culture in study villages, sudden change and modernization may increase livelihood insecurity. As such, tourism planning should ensure that modernization is sensitive to traditional economic systems and the need for rural livelihood sustainability. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.3.4-1 | Award Amount: 4.26M | Year: 2011

Multiple reports have documented the important deficit in human resources in health (HRH) in Africa. The causes are multiple and relate to a combination of underproduction, internal mal-distribution and inappropriate task allocation, working conditions and brain drain. The HURAPRIM-project will develop innovative interventions and policies and address the HRH crisis. The objectives of the projects are to analyze the actual situation of HRH in Africa, to understand the complexity of the causes for the actual shortages in primary health care, to test interventions, strategies and policies that may improve the situation and to maximise networking and synergies. In order to achieve these goals, the project will assess the scope of the deficit in human resources and analyse the process of recruitment, undergraduate and postgraduate training, professional retention and unemployment and this for a variety of primary health care workers. The known complexity of the problem will prevent us from applying a one size fits all-approach. Therefore, the project consortium brings together three experienced and committed European partners and five African partners, representing different parts of Africa and specific situations in HRH. The designed interventions will be tested out through case-studies in these partner countries. The interventions will target different levels (capacity building, recruitment and retention, task differentiation and cooperation with informal sector/traditional healers), will addresses (in various degrees of importance) aspects at the micro-, meso and macro-levels and will be designed with involvement of all stakeholders, political authorities, NGOs and especially the local population. The frame of reference for the analysis will look at relevance, equity, quality, efficiency, acceptability, sustainability, participation and feasibility. Acceptance by policy makers, in close cooperation with stakeholders and of the local communities will be a main focu

Fynn R.W.S.,University of Botswana
Rangeland Ecology and Management | Year: 2012

Most of the worlds rangelands are subject to large spatial and temporal variation in forage quantity and quality, which can have severe consequences for the stability and profitability of livestock production. Adaptive foraging movements between functional seasonal resources can help to ameliorate the destabilizing effects on herbivore body stores of spatial and temporal variability of forage quantity and quality. Functional dry-season habitats (key resources) provide sufficient nutrients and energy to minimize reliance on body stores and are critical for maintaining population stability by buffering the effects of drought. Functional wetseason habitats dominated by short, nutritious grasses facilitate optimal intake of nutrients and energy for lactating females, for optimal calf growth rates and for building body stores. Adaptive foraging responses to high-quality focal patches induced by rainfall and disturbance further facilitate intake of nutrients and energy. In addition, focused grazing impact in high-quality patches helps to prevent grassland maturing and losing quality. In this regard, the design of many rotational grazing systems is conceptually flawed because of their inflexible movement of livestock that does not allow adaptation to spatial and temporal variability in forage quantity and quality or sufficient duration of stay in paddocks for livestock to benefit from self facilitation of grazing. Similarly the fixed intraseasonal resting periods of most rotational grazing systems might not coincide with the key pulses of nitrogen mineralization and rainfall in the growing season, which can reduce their efficiency in providing a functional recovery period for grazed grasses. This might explain why complex rotational grazing systems on average have not outperformed continuous grazing systems. It follows, therefore, that ranchers need to adopt flexible grazing management practices that allow adaptation to spatial and temporal variability in forage quantity and quality, allow facilitation of grazing (seasonlong grazing), and allow more effective recovery periods (season-long resting).

Thomas P.Y.,University of Botswana
Electronic Library | Year: 2011

Purpose - This paper aims to explore the educational potential of "cloud computing" (CC), and how it could be exploited in enhancing engagement among educational researchers and educators to better understand and improve their practice, in increasing the quality of their students' learning outcomes, and, thus, in advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) in a higher education context. Design/methodology/approach - Adoption of the ideals of SoTL is considered an important approach for salvaging the higher education landscape around the world that is currently in a state offlux and evolution as a result of rapid advances in information and communications technology, and the subsequent changing needs of the digital natives. The study is based on ideas conceptualised from reading several editorials and articles on server virtualisation technology and cloud computing in several journals, with the eSchool News as the most important one. The paper identifies two cloud computing tools, their salient features and describes how cloud computing can be used to achieve the ideals of SoTL. Findings - The study reports that the cloud as a ubiquitous computing tool and a powerful platform can enable educators to practise the ideals of SoTL. Two of the most useful free "cloud computing" applications are the Google Apps for Education which is a free online suite of tools that includes Gmail for e-mail and Google Docs for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, and Microsoft's cloud service (Live@edu) including the SkyDrive. Using the cloud approach, everybody can work on the same document at the same time to make corrections as well as improve it dynamically in a collaborative manner. Practical implications - Cloud computing has a significant place in higher education in that the appropriate use of cloud computing tools can enhance engagement among students, educators, and researchers in a cost effective manner. There are security concerns but they do not overshadow the benefits. Originality/value - The paper provides insights into the possibility of using cloud computing delivery for originating a new instructional paradigm that makes a shift possible from the traditional practice of teaching as a private affair to a peer-reviewed transparent process, and makes it known how student learning can be improved generally, not only in one's own classroom but also beyond it. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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