Meet Prince Nkwe-Business Advisory and the future of GenU Botswana. Startup Mag Botswana chats to the young but brilliant fellow (age 25) with a very rich career background proving that age is not just a number in love but also career-wise when one is focused on their goals.
Q: Tell us about yourself, what sets you apart?
A: My names could easily be associated with royalty, ‘Prince’ is an English word used as a title to refer to male offspring of both a King and Queen. ‘Nkwe’ on the other hand refers to a leopard and in the context of Tswana culture a ‘Kgosi’ is adorned in leopards skin, this being an symbolic element of his stature. I was raised by a mother who instilled in me core values and in essence taught me to conduct myself as royals would, such principles have lead me on a path or trajectory of never ending blessings, giving me the tenacity to endure life through mountain-tops and valley-lows.
Q: Take us through your academic background as well as your ladder up to your current role of work?
A: I have an ‘International Business’ degree qualification from the University of Botswana, I have also been fortunate to attain additional certification through entities such as the SADC, United Nations Conference on Trade & Development, and the ‘Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit’ (GIZ) GmbH which is Germany’s leading provider of international cooperation services. My first certification was at Johannesburg, dealing with the formulation of Industrial Development Policies, the second one was conferred upon me at Nairobi Kenya and has to do with monitoring Non- Tariff Barriers though use of the AfCFTA online NTB reporting mechanism, my recent certification was offered by UNCTAD and it was a training for National Trade Facilitation Committees (I am the youngest member of the committee at the Ministry of Investment Trade & Industry).
From my early years in high school, I always believed in putting my skills and knowledge to good use, my first notable job was in high school working as a co-presenter on ‘Thuto Ke Lesedi’ a Mathematics Program on Botswana Television. The TV role gave me confidence that I can do anything I set my mind to. Upon completion of my degree at the University of Botswana I was fortunate to be given an opportunity by the Botswana Exporters & Manufacturers Association, an organization I am serving currently with an amazing team. My journey with BEMA is nothing short of amazing. I also have my eyes set on the Entrepreneurial space as I recently became co-founder of a start-up called Basal Trade, a company that offers business consultancy.
Q:Were you always passionate about business or did you stumble upon your career path
as the years went by?
A: My passion for business was developed from an early age. There’s a story my mother loves to reminisce and share, so I was in grade two and our neighbors son was the same age as me at the time, he had a nice truck toy, I offered to give him my collection of Pokémon cards in exchange for his toy, clearly the truck was worth way more than my cards, poor boy fell for my sales pitch and gave me his truck. After a week or so, the neighbor’s mother requested I return back the truck, it is a story we all laugh about today because from those early years I believed everything revolved around business.
There was a section in the house with newspapers, I would frequently read them as a kid and
that excited me more than anything. The irony of growing up was that I excelled in science based subjects, hence my peers assumed I would pursue a career in medicine or engineering. I was even offered a scholarship abroad to pursue engineering and decided to turn it down, as I was more interested in the field of business, a decision that left everyone shocked but I am very proud of.
Q: As a business advisory, what exactly are your duties?
A: My role as a Business Advisor is to assess the local and international trade environment, identify new market opportunities for domestic businesses, evaluate the needs for exporting and manufacturing entities and mediate or represent them at either government or international level. I serve on behalf of my organization at government platforms such as the Technical Committee on Market Access, the Trade Finance & Investment committee etc. My representation at international level is of SADC or SACU based platforms.
Q:What is your greatest accomplishment to date?
A: My greatest accomplishment is simple, I always had the desire to travel the world doing what I love, and my space of work has offered me that. The first time I travelled on work was to Johannesburg, to align Botswana’s industrial development policy with the rest of the SADC region. I have been to other countries on a similar mission, but one thing that got evoked emotions was when I was seated at SSKI airport with my family, they were
sending me off to Germany for the SADC-EU CARIFORUM Expo, the scene at the airport was amazing as it dawned on me that I was living right in the middle of my wildest dreams.
Q:Tell us about your recent role as a new member of the Gen U Botswana Steering committee? What a moment to be applauded by H.E himself!
A: I was recently appointed to be part of the Generation Unlimited (GenU) Steering Committee, a committee that comprises of key youth representation to tackle a plethora of issues ranging from education, skills empowerment and youth entrepreneurship. The committee is championed by H.E Dr. E.K Masisi and is still in the early stages. I am most definitely humbled to be part of this grandeur of a platform that intends to bring much needed radical change to Botswana. There exists so many issues that only we the youth can solve of course with the guidance of our leaders, I intend to take hold of the baton and run passionately to an auspicious end, an end where every youth individual in this country is empowered one way or the other.
Q:What are your hobbies when you are not consulting?
A: love sports, I often keep up to date with soccer, NBA, NFL, Formula 1 and golf. My favorite thing to do in silence, is to pray, meditate or simply peruse through books based on motivation or business. I also enjoy going on fun excursions or travelling to places where the culture is different from ours, places that leave me with great stories to tell.
Q: What are your prospects for the future?
A: My future plans are simple, I aspire to carve and walk a new path of Leadership. I desire to someday be a Global leader that brings about much needed impact to the world economy, till then my short-term goals are to learn from industry figures and the mentors I look up to. I am excited to be walking on this journey that God has laid out for me.