Botswana, De Beers Partnership Grows

| November 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

The government’s partnership with De Beers continues to grow as the country aspires to grow its diamond industry, minerals, energy and water resources minister, Mr Kitso Mokaila has said.

“It is a partnership that no other has ever had. It is a partnership that has proven to be time tested. A partnership that has proven to be true to serve both parties, the country and De Beers,” Mr Mokaila said when delivering a keynote address at Debswana’s 45th anniversary gala dinner on November 7.

The government, he said, was committed to making the partnership not only workable, but to also prosper for both parties. Therefore, both parties must make the partnership grow from strength to strength.

At independence, Mr Mokaila said the government took the decision to vest all mineral rights in the state, hence the proceeds of the country’s minerals had thus been used for the benefit of all citizens.

“We have been able to develop social infrastructure such as schools and health facilities on an equitable basis and avoided national and inter-regional conflict over our natural resources ensuring that indeed our diamonds are for development,” he added.

In his welcome remarks, Debswana managing director, Mr Balisi Bonyongo said diamonds would continue to make a positive impact in the lives of Batswana for the foreseeable future.

Being the largest private sector employer in the country with more than 5 000 staff members, Mr Bonyongo said Debswana had not only contributed to Botswana’s socio-economic development, but also to thousands of individual Batswana.

The company, he said, had touched the lives of many through employment, health, as well as sport and community development.

He noted that Debswana had just completed its long term strategy and indicators were that “we still have many more years of diamond mining ahead of us. This will ensure our continued contribution to the development of Botswana.”

In his remarks, De Beers Group of Companies executive head of strategy and corporate affairs, Mr Bruce Cleaver said De Beers was proud of Debswana and the authenticity of the partnership that sits behind it. He said he valued the enduring bonds it had created with the government.

“Partnership isn’t always easy, but the best and truest partnerships never are. And ours is a true partnership, stimulated by passion, sustained by mutual trust and rooted in respect and an abiding good faith. Ultimately, we believe the partnership makes us better,” he said.

Debswana and the formative role it had played in the development of Botswana, Mr Cleaver said, had become an example to the world of the good that could be done with diamonds.

Through Debswana, he said generations of Batswana had moved with deliberate and prudent intent to turn their natural resource into shared national wealth. The wealth, he said, had provided infrastructure, education and jobs, not only in the diamond sector, but throughout the economy.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Business & Finance

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