3rd Annual ICT Graduates Conference By Service Xcellence

Hosted by Service Xcellence on 22nd November 2022 at Travel Lodge, Gaborone under the Theme “MANY OPTIONS BUT 1: ENTREPRENEURSHIP” 


ICT has become one critical skill in this ever-changing dynamic environment, where we have all become digital citizens and way too dependent on ICTs for everything that we do. ICT Graduates must find themselves as a huge asset possessing critical skills needed to drive the economy and transform the whole world. 

In this Digital Era, it is important to learn, align to and unpack current ICT trends especially in line with where we are as the world pursues objectives and mandates related to the SDGs and in Botswana, we also drive Vision 2036 and the 2021 President’s Reset Agenda. We need to grow a self-sustaining society and for us at Service Xcellence we drive this through public awareness, public education, empowerment workshops, webinars, conferences, mentorship, coaching and various talks.

The month of November has been a special month at Service Xcellence since the birth of the business in 2020, and 2022 year was no exception. Two successful inspirational Conferences were held in November 2020 and 2021 under the Themes “ICT Skills Critical in a Dynamic Environment” and “Your Network Your Footprint Your Future” respectively, and all these themes called for an awakening of oneself. 

Service Xcellence is an ICT and Management Consultancy business with footprints at various organizations including Innolead Consulting, Stanbic Bank, BoFiNet and Debswana Diamond Company.

Through these Annual Conferences, Service Xcellence aims to uplift, reposition and empower the Graduates with life skills beyond their technical knowledge and skills so that they can thrive and do well in whatever capacity they find themselves. 

Service Xcellence hosted the 3rd Annual ICT Graduates Conference on the 22nd November 2022 at Travel Lodge in Gaborone with the aim to inspire and motivate Graduates to look into the future with a positive entrepreneurial mindset, taking on all opportunities before them. Themed, “Many Options But 1: Entrepreneurship”, 2022 Conference was big in all forms, from the past maximum of 50 people in gatherings due to COVID-19 restrictions to a target of 100, and from a half day to a full day Conference. The attendance exceeded our expectation with both virtual and in-person numbers going beyond 120, and we remain hopeful that the messages shared continue to build up the Graduates.

The Theme was selected in recognition of the continuously changing employment landscape and more like never before, the need to create jobs and collaborative opportunities to employ oneself and others becoming more and more common. The future is not certain and the life after graduation does not guarantee any certainty too. The mindset must change, and the big question for any graduate is “what if I get a job, and what if I don’t?” 

The rate of unemployment of Graduates from all disciplines continues to grow significantly yet the need for “money” to run their daily lives also grows in parallel. What can one do? We cannot all remain in a state of being unemployed yet possess some knowledge and skills that remain lying dormant. Prolonged state of unemployment leads to depression, low morale, low self-esteem, low self-confidence and too much self-criticism in some instances. Most of these Graduates then start questioning themselves and in most cases it is about “did I study the right or wrong course”, “if I try on business will anybody want what I do” , “can I even succeed at anything”, “where will I get the money to start” , “will I be competitive enough” , “I know nothing about running a business”. All these questions and more have caused many to remain in some stagnant space because the answers just confirms some negative thoughts already brewing in their minds.

This Conference was aimed at answering these questions and many other un-asked questions through a diversified pool of topics, industry experts and the opportunity to interact and network. The Conference was indeed an eye opener, not only to Graduates, but everyone who wants to start their businesses now or even in the future, post-employment. All Graduates must endeavor to gather knowledge to help them make the right decisions. It is about mindset change, it is about creating new ideas and finding new ways of approaching your tomorrow, to have something exciting to wake up to everyday, being motivated to make a difference and change circumstances around you. Even for those are already employed or running a business, the Conference provided an entrepreneurial mind-shift.

The program included a diverse pool of speakers, illustrious /notable individuals and businesses who spoke on a variety of theme-related topics in the entrepreneurship ecosystem both local and international speakers and covered a wide variety of topics related to empowering anybody who is looking into entrepreneurship as an economic driver, as well as stretch out their potential to reach greater heights in their lives. Some of the topics covered in the program included

  • Personal Branding – to help you create your own identity
  • Innovation and Creativity in the ICT Space – what can we do, where are the opportunities, how does one tap on them
  • Personal and Business Financial Management – finances are a key controller and contributor in any personal and business growth ventures, what you need to know
  • Creating Your Own Business Pitch – every business idea requires a certain drive and pitch, we will get to draw learnings that will help you create your own pitch
  • Employment Act Unpacked – learning the laws of employment is very critical as you will either be an employer or an employee at some point in your life 
  • Surviving the Unemployment Scare – testimony of one who managed to rise beyond unemployment and mixed talent and knowledge to be where she is today
  • Building Effective Mentorship Programs – most if not all cannot do it alone, we need others to help us rise up but we also need to have effective relations and programs

The honoree was the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Gender, and Culture, represented by Mr Tiro Kganela, pledged support to grow the youth today, not tomorrow, in collaboration with identified public and private stakeholders. Ms. Otisitswe Tawana-Madziba, Master of Ceremonies, led the program gracefully joined on stage by Malebogo Marumoage, Nonofo Jesse, Cathy Malejane, Nelson Letshwene, David Kepaletswe, Martin M. Kamethu, and Udokanma Georgewill, and all of whom spoke as subject matter experts on their respective topics.

The panel discussion, also meant to briefly appraise attendees on the laws and regulations in business, business start-ups, entrepreneurship, support and funding opportunities, under the topic "What Start-Ups and Entrepreneurs Must Know", was led by Service Xcellence employee Boitumelo Motsomi and was jam-packed with amazing insights from Mr. Brian Dialwa, Ms. Clare Mosarwa, Dr. Shadreck Boitshwarelo, and Mr. Maduo Molosiwa".

Pastor Jack Rantho opened the conference by encouraging the audience to "know who their network is" and "not walk with just anybody."

Mr David Kepaletswe, who has been an entrepreneur since 1999 while at tertiary school, spoke on the topic "Innovation and Creativity in the ICT Space". He stated that we must use creativity to solve problems because we are living in an era of great opportunity with unprecedented adoption of technology at all levels of our society. In her presentation on "Creating Your Business Pitch," Udokanma Georgewill echoed this by demonstrating the capabilities of some of the various tools at one's disposal that could be used to create a winning business pitch. All of the speakers agreed on one point: success is determined by research, action, personal branding, strategic partnerships, and prudent financial management.

Networking opportunity was also catered for through the exhibition stalls from BIT, Fin-Edu, Dare To Dream, Abaricom, Chiedza Social Consultancy and Service Xcellence.

Aside from the numerous freebies, such as Biltong and Ginger drink from Miza’s Own Workspace, one attendee received a P40,000.00 Nanodegree scholarship from Blacks In Technology, while the rest of the attendees received a year-long membership to MasterClass from the Zollie Ella Group. Pako Molatlhegi, the Nanodegree scholarship winner, is an IT graduate who works as a Printer Technician for a local printing company. He stated that he had been looking for a challenge and was grateful for the scholarship because it would teach him a new skill.

The day was filled with laughter, dancing, poetry, and live band music. Keabonye Togirle Bareeng and her guitarist Neo Moseki send us in awe with their ICT custom-made poems while Regent Hill International Secondary School music band provided kept us all on our toes. The band made out of Form 3 students, is a powerful one, professional and sang a variety of genres.

The common thread of thought for 2022 ICT Graduates Conference is 

  • You have a very unique skill.
  • You have the ability and capability of making the appropriate connections.
  • You can think outside the box and transform your ideas into workable products and services.

Segametsi Mafa, the founder and Managing Director of Service Xcellence shared her passion for a Conference such as this. She is also passionate about personal development and growth, public education, coaching and mentorship and overall making like meaningful and fulfilling. It is because of this background that the ICT Graduates Conference was visualized and born.

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