The collaboration between the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and Brand Botswana resulted in the launch of the very first branded immigration stamps on the 16th of September 2014, at the Tlokweng Border Post. The branded stamps, which bares the Pride Mark, is to be used at all ports of entry into Botswana as an effort to make every trip in and out of the country a long lasting memory.
The eye catching, colourful and information packed Pride Mark has been inspired by the multitude of natural wonders found across Botswana. Comprising of the various earth tones that represent much of the country’s semi-arid landscapes, a green colour representing growth and the lush environment, a blue colour that signifies prosperity and importance of water, a yellow colour for optimism and the zebra pattern that represents the country’s racial harmony, it is indeed a souvenir travellers will learn to appreciate now more than ever. The Pride Mark artwork speaks to the unique quality of an area, which is why the tagline reads, Botswana, our pride, your destination.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Honourable Dorcas Makgato – Malesu highlighted how this initiative of promoting the country, through the Pride Mark immigration stamp, faced challenges throughout the preliminary stages before agreements were reached by Brand Botswana and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Culminating from the cooperation by the two entities, the initiative ‘‘will improve the country’s immigration services as well as achieve the mandate of the nation brand programme. We want our immigration officers to be proud of the environments they work in and for visitors to feel excited about the opportunities that await them in our country, Botswana,’’ said Makgato – Malesu.
Complementing the Minister of Trade and Industry was the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Honourable Edwin Batshu, who expressed appreciation for this great initiative by Brand Botswana, and their decision to partner with his Ministry. “I appreciate this partnership with Brand Botswana and the anticipated difference it will make to all visitors and locals utilising our airports and borders,” Honourable Batshu said. The new endeavour is part of a great effort to improve and energize the country’s provision to traveller. In addition to the stamp, Brand Botswana has been conducting training workshops aimed to bring values and principles embodied in the Pride Mark alive to immigration personnel and improve their overall customer service as they interact with people coming in and out of the country.
Makgato – Malesu concluded by explaining that ‘‘our immigration personnel are the faces of the country and it is important to ensure that they remain motivated and provide visitors and citizens with a welcoming environment. Globally, Botswana ranks favourably in regards to attracting FDI, so as potential investors enter our border, we have to make sure they are greeted with quality service’’.