The Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA) this week launched the interim board of directors of the Brand Botswana Management Organization (BBMO) which marked yet another milestone in the implementation of the Botswana Brand.
The new BBMO board comprises of Dorcas Makgato-Malesu, the Chief Executive Officer of BEDIA, who will serve as the Board’s Chairperson, with the following as members: Sheila Khama, CEO of De Beers Botswana, Motlhware Masisi, the Chief Negotiator in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mathata Gasennelwe, the Managing Director of Horizon Ogilvy Botswana.
The Board also includes Ester Kanaimba, the Group Public and Corporate Affairs Manager for the Debswana Diamond Company, Jeff Ramsay, the Coordinator for the Government Communications and Information System Unit in the Office of the President, and Kate Maphage, an accomplished entrepreneur in her own right.
Speaking at this launch, the Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Duke Lefhoko, said that, currently, Botswana’s investment profile is not what is should be and needs to be raised.
Therefore, Lefhoko said, the Brand Botswana project should aim at repositioning Botswana locally and globally as a country with a warm spirit and desire to succeed, a country with a strong heritage of peace and tranquility, a country with enchanting natural beauty, the best country to live and work in, as well as a prime investment and truly unique tourist destination.
Lefhoko noted that the world has become sophisticated and competitive, resulting in fierce competition not only for goods and services but also foreign direct investment.
“His Excellency, former President Festus Mogae, reiterated this point at the launch of the Brand. He said that countries are faced with challenges and opportunities which require them to embrace change,” he said. As a result, Lefhoko said, countries around the globe continue to create strong national brands in order to meet these challenges.
He explained that branding creates opportunity which can only be realized if the brand is implemented properly and everybody living the brand’s promise.
“I, therefore, challenge the Directors of the BBMO to take full advantage of opportunities that will be unearthed and to grow the Botswana economy so as to create wealth and jobs for Batswana,” he said.
According to the Assistant Minister, the implementation of the Botswana Brand is long overdue. He said its launch in December last year created a heightened sense of anxiety and expectations among many stakeholders.
“We couldn’t, however, use the Brand before developing a proper communication plan. The BBMO CEO and the BBMO are expected to develop such a plan,” said Lefhoko.
If done properly, the implementation of this Brand is expected to create a long-lasting legacy that should improve Botswana’s global visibility and competitiveness. The Brand is also projected to operate in a highly complex, dynamic and competitive local and international environment.
“What only remains,” said Banny Molosiwa, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, “is for us to implement this brand as quickly as possible to avoid the mischaracterization of the Brand, which seems to have been creeping in since the launch in December last year,”
Molosiwa appealed to the public to give the BBMO all the support that they may need.