Sunday, September 27, 2020

De Beers holds Town Hall meeting in Gaborone

De Beers’ top brass will next week give an outline on how they see the diamond market recovery following the international credit crunch at the Town Hall meeting scheduled to take place in Gaborone on Tuesday.

“What are we likely to say to our stakeholders, we will be giving our stakeholders a perspective on┬á the impact of the crisis and on what we have done to mitigate our risks to ourselves and partners, especially those in Botswana,” head of De Beers Botswana, Sheila Khama, said in an interview.

She added: “We will from a high level presentation on┬á what the outlook┬á is from the perspective of De Beers┬á and, try to share with them what┬á we think can be expected.”

Gareth Penny and Varda Shine will join  Minerals and Energy minister, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, and Blackie Marole in the first ever Town Hall (kgotla) meeting in Botswana to discuss the diamond industry.

The Town Hall meetingÔÇöto be held at the Grand PalmÔÇö is being hosted by Botswana Diamond Manufacturers Association and moderated by Sunday Standard’s Israel-based contributor, Chaim Even-Zohar, who is also the head of Idex Diamond Exchange.

Next week’s Town Hall meeting comes after the Antwerp, Ramat Gan and Mumbai meetings. The move is largely seen as an effort to involve stakeholders in the producer countries in the international diamond debates.

In the last meetings, De Beers top management spoke of recovery in the market with trading figures said to be on an upward swing since mid this year. Indications are that Botswana Diamond Trading Company has also benefited from the recovery, especially the ninth sight which has just closed.

‘If Botswana wishes to be diamond ┬áindustry leader, then of course, ┬ápart of that leadership position is that we must be visible and that we must engage and give the industry leadership,” Khama said, adding that “in many ways I think that this Town Hall meeting will achieve that”.

It will position Botswana as a leader in the industry, showing leadership and engaging those who have an interest and a role to play in the diamond industry,” she added.

The two De Beers officials are due to address another Town Hall meeting in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.