This past Wednesday the country’s leading mining mogul, Debswana Diamond Company, celebrated 41 years of existence.
The company, which has of late been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, is apparently still at the top of their game even after experiencing bumpy operations for the past two years.
Debswana was one of the companies that were badly affected by the now ending recession and was also undergoing heavy criticism for its Operations review project, which was to see 1278 workers lose their jobs.
Ester Kanaimba, Group Manager of Public and Corporate Affairs at Debswana, said that the Managing Director of Debswana, Blackie Marole, had sent out an anniversary message to his employees in which he commended them for their skills and passion in contributing to Debswana’s success.
As history would have it, the name Debswana was cobbled up in 1992 because of the equal partnership between De Beers Mining Company and the Botswana Government.De Beers, the first diamond mining company to settle in Botswana, has a long history with Botswana, dating as far back as 1969.
”Fifty percent of the company is owned by Batswana through government, therefore we share the pride of fellow countrymen and women who have realized their diamond dreams ÔÇô the dreams for a better life; for reaching new heights through education; for good health services; and for world class infrastructure,” said Marole.
Since its inception, Debswana has contributed significantly to the growth and development of Botswana, considering the fact that diamonds are still Botswana’ s leading exports. The company has provided a lot of jobs for most local men, some of whom had not even gone to school.
To date, it remains one of the few private companies that provide more employment opportunities to locals, falling in second place after government.
Debswana has also had a massive impact on the education of young citizens with its numerous sponsorships for secondary and tertiary education level. The company also has a school, the Adult Education Center, specifically for adult employees who had not been to school or those who want to further their education.
“Debswana has a robust corporate social investment programme that covers key areas of social welfare, such as health, education, community development and entrepreneurship. Our two hospitals provide excellent health services to over 34 000 members of the public annually. Equally worth celebrating are the high quality education services that we offer both our employees and members of the public through our schools,” said Marole.
HE concluded by saying that Debswana contributes directly to business development through PEO Venture Capital, which has empowered citizens through the development of commercially viable businesses in Botswana. In the past 10 years, PEO has assisted 60 local businesses, which in turn, have created employment for 1300 people.