The Department of Marketing in collaborating with the Botswana Trade and Investment Centre (BITC) June 20-21, 2018 hosted a workshop aimed at building export capacity for local manufacturing firms.
The workshop was hosted at University of Botswana Library with 27 representatives from local manufacturing firms from across Botswana participating. Speaking at the event, Head of the Department of Marketing, Professor Rina Makgosa, said the workshop was also aimed at ensuring that local manufacturing firms reinforced a positive attitude in the export market.
Professor Makgosa further stated that the programme was delivered in three phases, thus Basic Concepts of Exporting and Marketing, Developing Export and Marketing Plan, as well as Implementing Export and Marketing Plan. She noted that the purpose of the programme was to motivate local manufacturing firms to expand to global markets to increase sales and profits for their companies.
Professor Makgosa said the participants were fortunate since they were spoiled for choice in the skilled labour market especially University of Botswana graduates in the field of international marketing which she strongly believed would earn them competitive advantage.
Addressing the participants on basic concepts of marketing, a lecturer in the Department of Marketing, Professor Edward Marandu, observed that capturing an additional foreign market would expand production to meet foreign demand. Professor Marandu said increased production could often lower per unit costs and lead to greater use of existing capacities.
He also said selling goods and services to a market the company never had before boosted sales and increased revenues for local manufacturing firms. He also added that over the long term foreign sales and once export development costs had been covered it further increased overall profitability. Other topics that Professor Marandu lectured on included export logistics, competitiveness, export readiness, export circle and distribution methods.
A Department of Marketing Lecturer, Dr Catherine Phambuka Ntsimbi, addressed the participants on various environmental challenges pertaining to exports. Dr Ntsimbi’s address was to help companies understand advantages and disadvantages of exporting to prepare for smooth entry into new markets and keep pace with competition and eventually realise profit.
The participants were also lectured on financial issues which included payment methods in international trade by another Department of Marketing Lecturer, Ms Tebo Ditshweu and Department of Finance Senior Lecturer, Mr Ishmael Radikoko, who touched on costing and pricing.