Botswana - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors & Techniques
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English is the official business language, but Setswana is the traditional language and remains predominant in social and business interactions.  Depending on the scale or target consumer, marketing materials may need to be translated into Setswana.

Trade Promotion and Advertising

The Botswana Trade and Investment Centre (BITC) provides a platform for local manufacturers to expand their market share both regionally and internationally. They continually invite local businesses to regional and international trade shows, organize trade missions and are also the organizers and custodians of the Global Expo Botswana. This is a B2B multisectoral expo that attracts international players. 

There are several media houses in addition to state owned which private companies can use to advertise and promote their products. Botswana Television (BTV) is a popular state-owned television channel which is also accessible for promotion and advertising. 


  • Global Expo Botswana - 

  • Botswana Consumer Fair

  • Botswana Television (BTV)

  • Botswana Guardian 


Businesses are allowed to set prices inclusive of 14 percent VAT.  Most goods are free of price controls with the exemption of a few products such as maize meal, petroleum, diesel and illuminating paraffin. 

Sales Service/Customer Support

After care service is very important and highly recommended.  Most government procuring entities have expressed their preference in dealing with companies who have backup support close by.  This could be through a local agent/office or a regional support office. 

Local Professional Services

The Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) can provide a list of its accredited accounting firms and individuals who can assist with various services, from company registrations, to setting up company for operation (

The Botswana Accountancy Oversight Authority (BAOA) is an independent oversight body of the accounting and auditing profession to regulate the reporting of financial matters of Public Interest Entities (PIE) and the corporate sector.  The authority provides a list of certified audit firms and PIEs on its website.

The Law Society of Botswana can provide a list of lawyers who are duly registered and with the required practicing certificate (Law Society of Botswana – Home | Facebook),

Principal Business Associations

Business Botswana – This is the main and mostly recognized Business Association in Botswana with membership open to all companies, associations, and organizations.  Their advocacy role has influenced many policy changes in Botswana.

The American Business Council (ABC) in Botswana – ABC represents the interests of U.S. companies and other companies wishing to do business with the United States.  It has signed an MOU with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Business Botswana, and the Solar Industry Association of Botswana.

Botswana Exporters and Manufactures Association (BEMA) – A member-driven organization representing the interests of exporters and manufacturers in Botswana.  They have created an online selling platform for their members called BEMA Stores.

Limitations on Selling U.S. Products and Services

Botswana law restricts 35 service sectors to Botswana citizens, and these include butcheries, general trading establishments, gas stations, liquor stores, supermarkets (excludes chain stores), bars (other than those associated with hotels), certain types of restaurants, boutiques, auctioneers, car washes, domestic cleaning services, curio shops, fresh produce vendors, funeral homes, hairdressers, various types of rental and for-hire services, laundromats, specific types of government construction projects under a certain dollar amount, certain activities related to road and railway construction and maintenance, and certain types of manufacturing activities including the production of furniture for schools, welding, and bricklaying.  The law allows foreigners to participate in these sectors as minority joint venture partners in medium sized businesses.  Foreigners can hold the majority share if they obtain written approval from the trade minister.  The government has also put a 40 percent localization requirement on Solar Power projects.

Botswana’s Economic Inclusion Act, 2021, came into effect in April 2022 and provides for the implementation of existing economic empowerment laws and initiatives.  The law seeks to advance the effective participation of ‘targeted citizens’ in the economic development of the country.  The act defines a ‘targeted citizen’ as a citizen whose access to economic resources has been constrained by various factors as may be prescribed by the Minister of Trade and Investment.  The act also prescribes that both public and private companies actively participate in the economic transformation that the act seeks to achieve.