Botswana hopes Dubai display outshines rivals

Shining bright: Organisers hope the interactive and virtual reality display will help highlight the country in Dubai PIC: BITC
Shining bright: Organisers hope the interactive and virtual reality display will help highlight the country in Dubai PIC: BITC

DUBAI: Inspired by telling the country’s unique story, the Botswana Pavilion at the ongoing Dubai 2020 Expo is hoping to outshine the other 191 countries at the world-leading event to market Botswana to the globe.

For the first time, all African countries are exhibiting at the Dubai Expo, which will run till March 2022. While not openly stated, different countries are competing with their displays, investment climates and opportunities for the billions of pula in opportunities available at the expo.

The Pavilion uses themed messages and creative artworks, games, promotional videos as well as exhibits that are aligned to the key messaging. The display also includes virtual reality technology and the Botswana Pavilion app. Demonstrations of weaving, jewellery making are being conducted while visitors also receive souvenirs to remember the country with.

The Botswana Investment Trade Centre (BITC), which is headlining the country’s presence at the expo, has set up the Botswana Pavilion in a way that demonstrates the country’s cultural and economic assets to global audiences and presents Botswana as an investment destination of choice.

Speaking at the official opening of the Pavilion recently, the Minister of Investment Trade and Industry, Mmusi Kgafela said through the display, the country is reminding the world that Botswana is still, 55 years on, a stable, peaceful country that one can, and should do business with. He said the country continues its high commitment to sound fiscal policy, economic freedom, as well as to being a gateway to the massive market of Africa.

"The Pavilion, which is the heart of Botswana’s participation in the expo, exposes one to enjoying immersive cultural experiences and discover what makes the country unique. “The Pavilion is also a platform to market and sell the potential of Botswana-produced goods and services to the global market," he said.

Kgafela said visitors to the Pavilion will leave understanding that Botswana is truly the place to live, visit and invest.

Further, the minister said the country's tourism offering still stands out as unique and conservation-driven as the country promotes the tangible and intangible culture through the showcasing of crafts as well as its people.

According to BITC corporate communications director Kutlo Moagi, the Pavilion's inspiration goal is to expose the opportunities that the country has.

"We are showcasing the collaborative opportunities that Botswana has," she said.

As much as Expo 2020 is being held over 6,000km away from Botswana, Batswana can still participate. Various digital platforms have been set up to connect Batswana, especially the local businesses, to the activities taking place in the UAE, Dubai. B2B engagements will allow the local business community to meet and engage with potential business partners also participating in the expo.

At least 25 million visitors are expected at the Dubai Expo over the next six months.

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