Botswana Culture of Business

By | July 24, 2022


  • Introduction
  • Addressing
  • Business Meeting
  • Communication
  • Recommendations
  • Public holidays


At first glance, business negotiations do not differ from customs in Europe. The Botswanans are a peaceful and self-confident people, considered relatively exceptional compared to other African nations. They are cordial in their dealings and like to laugh. The working day starts early. Meetings starting at 8 a.m. are no exception, the reason being high temperatures in the later hours of the day. Business breakfasts are popular. It is necessary to be flexible and allow for possible changes when planning meetings. At the meeting, it is advisable to have a prepared presentation, speak to the point and be understandable. Be natural and confident. Fluency in English is a given, knowledge of the local language Setswana is not required.


Botswanan partners tend to be quite formal, especially at the first meeting. It is appropriate to address the partner by title and state his function (e.g. Mr. Director /Mr. President, Madam Director /Madam President). If we are not sure of the function, we will use Sir/Madam. Addressing Sir / Madam is also used when communicating with unknown counterparts, e.g. in a hotel, bank, restaurant, etc. Addressing by title and surname (Mr. Ubuntu / Ms. Ubuntu) is also acceptable. It is generally true, as in Europe, that a more socially significant person can offer a socially less significant person to be addressed by a first name or a nickname. Depending on the specific situation and the position of the partner on the social ladder, we can try to do this ourselves and offer to be addressed by first names.

  • Programingplease: Yearbook 2010 of nation Botswana, including population, politics, and abbreviations.

Business meeting

The ideal time for meetings in Botswana is in the morning, when the temperatures are not yet high. Meetings starting as early as 8 a.m. are no exception, business breakfasts at the hotel are popular. When arranging an appointment, you must take into account a certain flexibility and possible changes. For the first meeting, it is advisable to request a formal reception at the business partner’s office, also for the purpose of getting to know the background and work infrastructure of the counterparty. Other meetings can now take place more informally, for example in the form of a working breakfast at a hotel or dinner in a restaurant. Reception at the partner’s home is not usual during the first or later contacts. “Time is the gift of Africa” ​​and it flows differently for Africans. It is necessary to arrive at the meeting on time, but this cannot be expected automatically from the other party. If the partner is delayed, it is best to move on and concentrate on the content of the meeting.

It is necessary to prepare for negotiations with Botswanan representatives at least as conscientiously and to approach them in the same way as negotiations with partners in Europe. It is necessary to take into account the fact that it is a representative of a different cultural circle: the presentation must therefore be clear, comprehensible and convincing. Africans don’t like to read between the lines and Botswanans are no exception, so you need to be specific and to the point. When preparing your own presentation, you should keep in mind that nobody in Botswana knows the Czechia very well (even though a number of Botswanan doctors studied here), so it doesn’t hurt to include one or two facts. When talking to each other, you need to be receptive, open to unexpected turns, neither condescending nor condescending, flexibly keeping your standards.

It is not recommended to offer alcohol on the first date. It is customary to consume alcoholic beverages in reasonable quantities during any informal dinner (not at lunch) in a restaurant. A number of Botswanans who hold higher positions in the state administration or in the management of private entities come from socially successfully established, often influential and financially well-off families. They are often graduates or even have academic degrees from one or more prestigious world universities. Africans generally value the achievement of high social status, which the successful demonstrate with a conspicuous emphasis on ostentatiousness and material self-presentation. A modified exterior is also expected from a European. A tie or a suit is not necessary, for men a quality shirt, light jacket, trousers and closed dress shoes are sufficient, while ladies can wear a summer dress or a comfortable costume.

On some issues, Botswana partners can be quite formal, on others they are unusually open. Africans love to laugh and a good mood opens the door to success. It is therefore appropriate to lighten the proceedings with a simple funny story. Beware, however, of the common sarcasm and irony in our country, which may not always be understood correctly by Botswanans. Suitable conversation topics are family, sports, the beauty of Botswana and its people. Respect for old age and a sense of hierarchy are deeply rooted in African partners. It can only be recommended that a senior colleague or otherwise significant person within the company hierarchy be part of the business delegation, equipped with the relevant powers and information regarding delivery conditions, price and trade financing.

Most of the Botswana people you will meet in business dealings are Christians. Traditional religions are maintained mainly in the countryside. In general, sub-Saharan Africa has a more benevolent approach to faith than in North Africa and the Middle East, and religious differences are readily accepted. Any difference in religion should not be an obstacle to business cooperation.


The working language is English, which is widely used. Knowledge of the local language Setswana is not required and an interpreter is not needed. On the other hand, mastering a few basic phrases in Setswana won’t hurt. The other party will be pleased to show respect for the local culture. Email is recommended for official business communication. Botswanans like to communicate informally through smartphone applications (WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, etc.), it is convenient to use this form of communication for normal conversation, when negotiating and confirming meetings, etc. Visit Allunitconverters for more information about Botswana culture and traditions.


The best course of action when entering the market seems to be to approach a proven local partner, a company operating in your field in Botswana, with an offer of cooperation. The companion should be able to arrange an adequate reception, program and accompany you to meetings. During your absence, he will be in contact with the other party and arrange follow-up negotiations. It is also advisable to contact the state agency Botswana Investment and Trade Centre, which falls under the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry of Botswana, and ask for cooperation and assistance in the creation of the program. To ensure acceptance in the ministries and in the army, we recommend contacting the Czech Embassy in Pretoria. The experience of communicating with this agency is relatively positive. To ensure acceptance in the ministries and in the army, we also recommend contactingcommercial and economic section of the Czech Embassy in Pretoria.

Public Holidays

In addition to the usual Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter, public holidays in Botswana include, among other things, the anniversary of the birth of the country’s first president, Sir Seretse Khama (July 1). Also, the so-called President’s Day, which is the third Monday in July. The public holiday on 30 September celebrates the anniversary of independence from Great Britain (30 September 1966). Overview of public holidays and public holidays in Botswana:

January 1 – New Year

Good Friday – the crucifixion of Jesus Christ

Easter Monday

May 1 – Labor Day

May or June (40 days after Easter, Thursday) – Ascension Day

July 1 – Sir Seretse Khama Day

July (third Monday of the month) – Presidents’ Day

September 30 – Botswana Day (Anniversary of Declaration of Independence)

October 1 – Botswana Day

December 25 – the birth of Christ, the first Christmas holiday

December 26 – Boxing Day

Botswana Culture of Business