Diamond miner De Beers this week hosted a follow up stakeholder engagement seminar for Botswana NGO’s.
According to De Beers, the event followed an open ended discussion between themselves and Botswana NGO’s that took place in 2008.
At this first seminar, De Beers and representatives of a number of civil society organisations explored issues of mutual understanding and benefit.
The short term outcome of the first meeting was an agreement that De Beers and the NGOs should hold another session focused on helping NGO’s to build the capacity to raise funds. The theme of the seminar was ‘Building Relations with Donors”.
De Beers Botswana CEO, Sheila Khama, acknowledged the leadership role of Botswana NGOs especially in the areas of conservation and governance.
“De Beers welcomes dialogue with civil society organisations and places a high premium on external views of our business and policies. De Beers also recognises that to be truly impactful the work of NGOs and that of the private sector should not run parallel to that of government but side by side,” Khama urged.
The general secretary of the Botswana Council of Churches, David Modiegi, said this workshop of building relationships is important for NGOs to be able to find ways of locally resourcing themselves and accounting timeously.
“We are grateful for the initiative by De Bees and we hope it will take us a step forward in building the necessary skill of engagement with donors. When days are dark friends are few, we believe that De Beers is a friend of NGOs,” said Modiegi.
The workshop, officially opened by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Gladys Kokorwe, was facilitated by a consultant from the South African Institute for Advancement.
It ended with a tour of the diamond sorting and valuing facility at DTC Botswana, an entity jointly owned by the Government of Botswana and De Beers.