Information consultancy and brokerage in Botswana

Type Journal Article - Journal of Information Science
Title Information consultancy and brokerage in Botswana
Volume 24
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1998
Page numbers 83-95
Limited empirical research on information consultancy and
brokerage is documented and almost nothing originates
from authors in the developing countries despite the
upsurge of reasons for involvement in the services provided
in the region. However, in considering investment in consultancy
and brokerage services in a unique and unknown
consumer environment such as Africa, it would be foolhardy
to ignore the complexities posed by the coexistence
of an information-conscious population on the one hand
and a semi-literate population on the other. This study
investigates the need for information consultancy and
brokerage services in Botswana for the advice, creation
and development of information consultancy and brokerage
services in the country. The study was conducted in
Botswana and data was collected in Gaborone, which has
34.3% of the urban population, including 10% of the
national population, and is also the capital city and seat
for government and private agencies in the country. Data
was collected by means of questionnaires and interviews
with the public and private sectors as well as information
consultants and brokers. The analysis of data and the subsequent
results revealed that, while Botswana has information
consultants and brokers, there is a need for their
services in management mainly but also in information
technology, information systems and informal training.
Unexplored and less-exploited markets exist in both the
private and public sector. So far, access to information used
by clients is mainly through private contacts (70.6%), office
files (69.6%), mass media (60.3%) and information consultancy
and brokerage (34%). The study recommends that
coordination, marketing, promotion and publicity of information
consultancy and brokerage activities are essential.
The areas identified for consultancy services need to be
developed and exploited, clients’ awareness of the usefulness
of information management be created and the consultants
and brokers be readily available when needed. The
study provides a basis for market analysis that can benefit
training institutions in librarianship and information
management in capacity building.

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