Successful strategic partnerships are dependent upon a strong stakeholder management anchor. Stakeholder management is the art and science of project management of every project we undertake and it is conceived as the process of assessing a system and potential changes to it as they relate to relevant and interested parties, clients and customers – we can’t emphasise enough especially the media. The information gathered will be used to assess how the interests of those stakeholders should be addressed in a project policy, programme or plan.
Stakeholder analysis is a key part of stakeholder management. A stakeholder analysis of an issue consists of weighing and balancing all of the competing demands on a company by each of those who have a claim on it, in order to arrive at its objectives in a particular case. A stakeholder analysis does not preclude the interests of the stakeholders overriding those of others with s stake too, but it ensures that all affected will be considered.
We undertake a stakeholder analysis which is frequently used during the preparation phase of each project to assess the attitudes of the stakeholders (particularly the mainstream media and the general public) regarding their potential perceptions of the programme. Stakeholder analysis will be conducted continuously to track changes in stakeholder attitudes over time.
Ultimately, the success of every project will be adjudged on its ability and capacity to build or enhance the brand equities of our partners.
For companies to make it in the cutthroat world of business, they need to forge strategic partnership. This is the kind of relationship that involves the co-sharing of resources between two or multiple companies to empower all participants to achieve their strategic objectives. Strategic partners are usually businesses that don’t compete but complement each other. These often share both the risks and rewards of the decisions undertaken by the partners. Remember the African axiom: “If you want to travel fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, travel with others.
Since July 2020, I embarked on forging partnerships with various strategic institutions. The first one was Proudly South African which took us through the vigorous vetting process of regulatory and professional compliances after which we signed a three-year trade-switching agreement. Proudly SA is the national “buy local” campaign launched in 2001 by government, organised business, organised labour and community organisations (the constituencies represented in the National Economic Development and Labour Council – Nedlac) to boost job creation and pride in “local” by promoting South African companies and their products and services.
Through LinkedIn, I got introduced to the African Agri Council (AAC). The AAC, with members across the continent, works closely with key partners who are passionate about contributing to the advancement and development of agriculture. We were privileged that the CEO of Proudly SA, Eustace Mashimbye, has addressed both instalments of the annual Biashara Services and Products Africa (BiSPA) Conference and Exhibition, and AAC’s CEO, who also acts as the CEO of DRC Invest, addressed our second one in December 2020.
Then we were privileged to partner with UNISA Enterprise (Pty) Ltd and Enterprise UP (Pty) Ltd – both are the revenue-generating agencies of the University of South Africa and the University of Pretoria respectively. I’m elated to say that with the former, we have managed to partner with Farmers Connect Africa and we managed to bag a contract from the United Nations (UN), in collaboration with the European Umion (EU), to conduct a three day workshop on climate smart agriculture. The university developed the content for the three modules and the Brandhill Africs group provided marketing and communications support to the initiative.
As reported in the previous editions of this news portal, we reported on the success of the workshop. The programme was divided into three modules, which were as follows:
- ‘Climate-smart crop productión’
- Climate-smart live-stock production systems’
- The use of remote sensing in climate-smart agricultural practices’.
On Thursday UNISA’s Dr ME Malobane and I had a one-hour post-event interview on Chai FM’s “Beyond Governance” ably hosted by Dr Nimrod Mbele. We reiterated the importance of the workshop and gave South Africa’s climate response strategy as a context.
Brandhill Africa (Pty) Ltd has signed Strategic Partnership Agreements Africa Uncut Ltd UK and Islaverde UK Ltd to source costed and bankable capital and infrastructure development projects across Africa from both the public, private and civil society sectors that require international funding. The projects envisaged include infrastructure developments to drive multi-sectoral economic growth; provision of quality social (and community development) services such as education, health and integrated human settlements.
Our flagship stakeholder engagement platform is the forum for the CEOs of investment promotion or economic development agencies in a number of targeted African countries. Since the custodianship of this project rests with the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) – an economic development agency of the Gauteng City Region which is the seventh biggest economy on the continent – we have started with thirteen African countries which are the GCR’s biggest trading partners. This will indeed strengthen the bilateral relations between the GCR and this countries by increasing trade and also promoting investment opportunities between them. While the forum is for the CEOs, we’re mindful of the fact that government’s mandate is to create conditions conducive for business to create jobs and to grow our economies, so we will engage with the captains of the industry through the national business chambers. We are already engaging with the Continental business chambers – namely, the African Business Council (AfBC) and the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI).
Let me clarify that choosing an appropriate strategic partner or collaborator isn’t plain sailing. Although I have many anecdotes I could share from my experience since July 2020 when I embarked full time on this entrepreneurship journey, I will share a few of my lessons. Friends and family are just that: friends and family! For your sanity, don’t mistaken them for customers or clients. Not every person who joins your team is ready to be an entrepreneur, many just want to be employees as they’re not ready to carry the risks of shareholding. Helping someone today doesn’t guarantee a person returning a favour – one even reminded me “she didn’t owe me anything”. Very often a problem, such as bereavement in the family, of a black SME client, is your problem too – they won’t honour settling the invoice on the work you did for them citing budgetary constraints as they have to bury the relatives that passed on.
On the shareholding front, I’ve known two ladies that I became very close to since 2001 – I even regarded one as a family. Knowing how seasoned professionals they were, I brought them onboard – one as a media sales partner for Jambo Africa Online and another becoming an equal shareholder in my subsidiary company – I spent hours daily with her working hard to establish the company. When the going got tough, our cordial relationships over twenty years became victims. The first one decided to establish her own publication. The other went mute on me – when I called, she said there was no problem at all and she just blueticked my text messages.
I guess these are teething problems that made us into what we have become. I have sacrificed all for the Brandhill Africa brand to be what is today and what yet is to become.
This Friday I was featured as in every week on Thobela FM’s “Tseba Afrika” (“know Africa”) programme unpacking the challenges of inculcating a human rights culture across the continent. I’m grateful to this SABC station for the opportunity.
Enjoy your weekend.
Enjoy your weekend.
Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Brandhill Africa (Pty) Ltd
Tel: +27 11 759 4297
Mobile: +27 83 635 7773
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RESEARCH. INNOVATE. RE/ENGINEER
– a pan African competitive identity and public diplomacy agency decorated with the “Best Brand Award” at the World Brand Congress’ “Brand Leadership Awards 2021” –
A Strategic Partner to UNISA Enterprises (Pty) Ltd
A Strategic Partner to Enterprises UP (University of Pretoria)
A Strategic Partner to Proudly South African (Proudly SA)
A Supporting Partner to the African Agri Council
A member of the World Free Zones Organisation (World FZO)
A member of the African Tourism Board (ATB) and World Tourism Network (WTN)