Debswana’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Esther Kanaimba-Senai, has emphasized the need for companies and organisations to constantly communicate and engage with their stakeholders as their success is dependent on this.
When giving a key note address at the 3rd Annual International Conference on Academic and Professional Communication (ICAPC) hosted by the University of Botswana, Kanaimba- Senai said that employees, shareholders and communities create value for companies through the different roles they play. In all their various roles, communication plays a vital role.
Giving the context of Debswana, Kanaimba-Senai indicated that some of the company’s essential stakeholders, which are regarded as partners in development, are the communities around the mines. Kanaimba-Senai said that the reason they consider communities as one of the most important external stakeholder is because they give the company the social license to operate.
“Hence this emphasises the need for us to communicate and work together with our communities for a better future for all. And we do. We engage regularly, agree on development projects that they need and we offer funding for such, within the limits of our resources.”
Kanaimba-Senai said that organisations that embrace these principles of communication and engagement are highly productive and therefore deliver greater value. She buttressed her point by alluding to the Towers Watson, a global professional services company, which argues that organisations with highly effective internal communication strategies are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers significantly.
Kanaimba-Senai also challenged companies to move away from an orthodox tradition of leaving the responsibility of communication to the Corporate Affairs and the PR Departments only. According to her, communication must be every manager’s core task, an approach she is currently inculcating within Debswana.
“There has to be an effective training of managers who will then become a resource to communicate the organisational culture and drive the necessary behaviours needed to develop a competitive advantage.”
Regarding integrating culture into course material, Debswana’s Head of Corporate Affairs said, “it is my sincere hope that this forum will also explore possible ways of infusing elements of the local culture into classroom teaching and learning as well as making research impact positively on the challenges facing communication in higher education and industry in Botswana.
The three day conference, which was held from the 15th to 17th July 2015, was hosted under the theme “Communication for change, innovation, excellence, advancement, and globalisation”. Amongst the attendants was the guest speaker Professor Srikant Sarangi from Aalborg University in Denmark, other international and local academics. Other people in attendance were Post-Graduate students from the SADC region.
Prices for cereals or staple foods in Botswana and other Southern African countries continue to rise at a slower pace, following trends in the global markets, according to the latest November 2022 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
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Botswana Institution Of Engineers (BIE), has last week hosted a gala dinner in which they appreciated engineers who worked tirelessly and with dedication for 10 years from 1983 to steer the BIE to its current status.
The event that was held at the Phakalane Golf Estate had brought together young, experienced and veteran engineers and was held under the theme “Vitalize the dignity and eminence of all professional engineers”.
Explaining the theme, the institution’s treasurer, Thanabalasingam Raveendran said that engineers were looked upon reverentially with respect as the educated but with time it seems to have deteriorated. He indicated that there is a need to change the narrative by all means.
“The BIE exists for the welfare and the betterment of us Botswana engineers, we need to recognize specialised units within our Institution. We Engineers strongly believe in Engineers make it happen” Raveendran said.
He indicated that under the theme they appeal to all engineers to energize, to attain quality of being worthy of honour and respect and to achieve recognized superiority amongst the Society.
Raveendran stated that engineers need to ensure their end product is of good quality satisfying the end users expectations and engineers must be honest in their work.
“Approximately 8000 engineers registered with Engineering Regulatory Board (ERB) are not members of the BIE, engineers need to make every effort to recruit them to BIE” he said.
He alluded that BIE being a society, it currently needs to upgrade itself at par with professional institutions elsewhere like the UK and USA.
He further stated that BIE has to have engineering units of specialised disciplines like Civil/Mechanical/electrical etc
“As President Masisi indicated in his inaugural speech, the young people, who make 60 percent of the population of this country, are the future leaders and therefore investing in them is building the bridge to the future” said Raveendran
Kandima indicated that BIE has a memorandum of Understanding with Engineers Registration Board (ERB), where BIE is a recognised provider of CPD training, mentorship programmes and more importantly IPD undertaking to upgrade the skills and know-how of our engineers.
“For us to achieve our mandate and make worthwhile changes to engineering in Botswana, we have to be totally focused and act with intent” said Kandima.
Furthermore, Stephen Williams, past president of the BIE from 1986-1988 told the engineers that the BIE provides a fertile environment where they can meet, share ideas and grow professionally.
“The BIE is also a nesting place for graduate engineers to learn from their peers and seniors, it also cater for engineering technicians and technologists and so nobody in the technology field is left out” he said.
He further indicated that Botswana Government provides a conductive environment for growth of engineering professionals.
“It must be stated that the Botswana Government recognises the existence of BIE and it can further be stated that the government enables ERB to carry out its mandate as a regulator of engineering professionals” said Williams
He plead with engineering companies to recognize and support BIE as it is the only source of engineering personnel’s for various Industries .
Furthermore, when giving his farewell speech, Michael Pinard , a past president of the institution said how they are viewed as engineers by the general public might be due to some lack of appreciation as to exactly what role they play in the development of the country.
“The BIE slogan is aptly coined-Engineers make it happen, in other words, what man dreams engineers create” Said Pinard.