In a bid to create awareness on the transformation that the Botswana diamond industry is undergoing, Afrimond Diamond & Jewellery Institution is bringing experts and industry players together under one roof in Gaborone next week in a bid to chew the industry’s way forward.
In an e-mailed statement to The Telegraph on Monday, Todd Majaye, the CEO of the South African independent company, which affords the capacity building of Africans towards developing a holistic understanding of the diamond and jewellery industries’ dynamic, said the workshop will offer Batswana an opportunity to learn about diamond beneficiation.
“Diamond beneficiation is not only about diamond processing, but also about other opportunities that diamond beneficiation will bring, like Tourism, Aviation, Road transport, Property Development, Hotels, Restaurants, taxes, and many more,” the company said in a statement on Monday.
“Afrimond is offering the Botswana public and the formal sector, this rare opportunity to learn and hear first hand information (by major diamond and economic drivers) on the diamond industry diversification and its impact on the national economic diversification drive,” it added.
The workshop comes at a time when the downstream beneficiation is creating thousands of jobs although there are still concerns that diamond polishing firms are still owned by international companies with roots in Israel and Belgium.
Afrimond said there have been complaints from a wide section of the population, politicians and the public alike, that government does not share information with the public.
Therefore, Majaye added: “Failure to attend this crucial event where the government will be sharing information with the public, and where the public will have the opportunity to contribute to national development, will be a gross violation of the government’s efforts, and will render critics of government impotent and outdated. All members of the public, private and public institutions are urged to attend.”
Presenters at the workshop will include the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Water and Energy Affairs, Ministry of Trade and Industry, DTC Botswana, Citizen Empowerment Development Agency (CEDA) and relevant diamond manufacturing and trading companies.
The workshop will be highly interactive and will focus primarily on sharing specific and detailed information on the transformation of Botswana’s diamond industry to a world class diamond centre, and the benefits to the nation and individual citizens.
Topics to be discussed at the workshop will include an overview of the past, present and future trends of the local diamond industry, Botswana diamond beneficiation road map and its impact on the economic diversification drive and the role of DTC Botswana in the diamond beneficiation process.
Other issues will be the role of the Diamond Hub in the diamond beneficiation process; the role of the Government Diamond Valuator; what the Government/De Beers sales agreement means to an ordinary citizen; cutting and polishing diamonds in Botswana; citizen involvement in the diamond industry; Investment opportunities in Diamond industry and financing the diamond trading and processing industry.
The beneficiation workshop will be held at Maharaja Conference centre in Gaborone, on 25-26 January.