Event Gardens seek Regulation for Sector

  • Form and launch new organisation
  • BEGA currently has 57 members

In an attempt to realise value from advocacy and influence in public policy and solutions, owners and managers of event gardens in Botswana have launched an organization called Botswana Events Gardens Association (BEGA) With 57 members under their belt.
They met at Bon Femme Gardens just off Molepolole Road last weekend where they thrashed out the setting up of minimum operation standards for a healthy and sustainable industry.

“We want to advocate for licensing and regulation by relevant government authorities and local councils,” said the Chairman of the new organisation, Tshepo Keakile. “We realised that every business in Botswana is regulated except for ours.”
“We have been engaged with stakeholders at various levels to devise such licensing so that the industry and our customers are protected. We are also advocating for the needs and aspirations of event gardens, which should include advocacy for financial inclusion and legal representation.”

The event gardens industry is still in its infancy stage in Botswana as all event garden owners are first-generation. The gardens marry the convenience of urban amenities with the allure of rural Botswana for an agreeable wilderness experience to host weddings, conferences and music festivals and parties.
While most homes became offices in the wake of COVID-19, a World Health Organisation (WHO) study has revealed that open spaces and gardens are safer spaces for public gatherings.

Said Keakile: “The greatest features of gardens are the way they are naturally set up. Their indoor and outdoor combination provides optimum convenience for any kind of event in this era of COVID-19. The virus manifests itself more in closed areas and gardens present a safe environment because of the openness and free-flowing air.”
Keakile, who owns the famous Tashy’s Royal Gardens in Ramotswa, noted that it was not an easy task to convince garden owners to see the need to associate and no less difficult register the 57-member BEGA.

“The registration process revealed that there is a lot to be done on the side of the government in terms of easing the way of doing business in our country,” he said. “We managed through the commendable commitment of our members.”