Thursday, January 28, 2021

BEDIA hosts acclaimed UK Nation Brand expert

United Kingdom-based author and expert in the field of Nation Branding, Simon Anholt, will be in Botswana for a stimulating Masterclass being hosted by BEDIA.

Anholt is a leading authority in managing National, Regional and City identity and reputation.

He has vast experience and has, in the past, advised various Governments around the world, including New Zealand, Switzerland, Jamaica, Tanzania as well as Organisations such as the United Nations and World Bank.

He is also author of several books that center on the discipline of destination, country or nation branding.

Ludo Mokotedi, Deputy Director, Brand Botswana told Sunday Standard: “The master class will be a platform that will present key stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss some of the critical success factors for implementing a nation brand strategy.”

Mokotedi pointed out that Anholt Master Class will be having various focal points and key issues, such as the importance of having national policy that supports a country’s brand strategy, will be discussed.
Anholt will speak about how the private and public sector can form sustainable partnerships that work to maintain a country’s competitive identity.
Additionally, he will define the significance of innovation, culture and heritage, major events, the business environment, tourism sector, policy and other factors, which are critical enablers in enhancing national competitiveness in a global world. And to track and measure the progress of implementing Nation Brand Strategies against defined goals.
“The way to view Simon Anholt’s contribution is to look at it holistically. That is all key players public and private who operate in sectors such as tourism and investment promotion, work as a coordinated unit to promote a unified identity of Botswana, thereby benefiting from the opportunities that come with the approach,” she said.

Mokotedi said through deploying targeted nation branding initiatives, organisations working to promote the tourism sector can benefit from Marketing and Communications projects deployed by BEDIA or Brand Botswana.

Thus resources utilised to promote the country by one entity will create positives that will spill-over to other entities.

As BEDIA, we will be working with various organisations operating in Botswana to implement the Country Brand Strategy.

She noted that success can only be reached once a common view of what the benefits of this strategy are, the role of public and private entities in realising ways as well as how best to approach the task of implementation.

As the notion of nation branding is a fairly new one for Botswana, Mokotedi highlighted that as Brand Botswana it is their belief that it is critical that some of the information and knowledge gaps that they have witnessed so far be identified and addressed.

“This will create a common understanding of what benefits can be derived from creating a positive Country image,” she said.

She pointed out that this one-day intensive training course will convene representatives from various institutes who are critical in developing and maintaining a country’s competitive identity or image.

These include representatives of Government, policymakers, officials and managers responsible for all aspects of national or regional representation.

Organisations active in tourism promotion, foreign policy, trade and export promotion, cultural relations and cultural diplomacy, foreign direct investment promotion, sporting and other events, private sector decision makers, strategists and analysts in all sectors make the list.

She pointed out that it is their wish as BEDIA to capitalise on that gathering as a networking opportunity and as a means to gather ideas from those attending.

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