Debswana celebrates 43 years
by Sunday Standard Reporter
This weekend (23rd of June) marks 43 years since the Debswana Diamond Company was established.
“This day not only commemorates our existence but, most importantly, signifies the beginning of the role Debswana has played in transforming Botswana’s socio-economic landscape into one of the world’s greatest success stories,” said the company in a statement.
Formed in 1969 as De Beers Botswana Mining Company, the company was renamed Debswana Diamond Company in 1992.
On this day, Debswana made a promise to turn diamond dreams into lasting reality for each and every Motswana and people from other nations who chose to make Botswana their home or place of business.
The company takes pride in its Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programme, which has over the years uplifted communities throughout Botswana. Our commitment is reflected in our increased budget for CSI projects from P9 million in 2011 to P15 million in 2012.
Debswana also takes pride in running two hospitals and a clinic in Jwaneng and Orapa. These serve employees and communities around Debswana mines. Annually, over 70 000 patients are consulted at Orapa Hospital and over 40 000 patients visit Jwaneng Hospital. The majority of these patients, especially those who end up being hospitalized, pay a nominal fee and are non-Debswana employees.
Debswana made history in May 2001 when it became the first company in the world to proactively roll out free Anti Retrovirals (ARVs) to its employees and their spouses, who are infected, before including their children below 21 years in 2006.
Debswana has a successful public-private partnership with Government through which it has leveraged its existing company infrastructure and personnel to increase access to Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) to over 100 000 HIV/AIDS positive Batswana living in communities around its mines.
Over the past four decades Botswana has recorded one of the fastest growth rates in per capita income in the world. Diamond mining has fuelled much of this expansion and currently accounts for more than one-third of Gross Domestic Product, seventy percent (70 percent) of export earnings, and about half of the government's revenues.