The Assistant General Manager of Debswana’s Orapa Letlhakane and Damtshaa Mines, Bakani Motlhabani has praised the 50th Anniversary roving torch as a symbol of success and unity for the country and Debswana Mining Company.
Welcoming the torch on Saturday last week in Orapa, Motlhabani said that the arrival of the torch in the mining town marks an important historic event for Botswana and the mines.
“In launching the roving torch, his Excellency, President Ian Khama pledged commitment to the country’s founding national principles of development, self-reliance, democracy and dignity. Principles that will continue to lead the nation to greater heights. Principles that we need to embrace and uphold so that our country can achieve its aspiration of prosperity for all,” he said.
Motlhabani added that the symbol of fire, in the roving torch is meant to keep the spirit burning around the seven 2016 vision pillars which include an open and democratic nation, a prosperous and innovative nation, a safe and secure nation, a united and proud nation, a compassionate, just and caring nation, an educated and informed nation as well as a moral and tolerant nation. He said in addition, OLDM continues to live all the vision 2016 pillars, as the mines continue to contribute significantly to the development and social fabric of Botswana.
“Following the discovery of diamonds a year after independence in 1966 Orapa mine was the first mine to produce diamonds in 1971. At independence our country took the decision to vest all mineral rights in the state. The proceeds of our minerals have therefore been used for the benefit of all our citizens. We have been able to develop social infrastructure such as schools and health facilities on equitable basis and avoided national and interregional conflict over our natural resources ensuring that indeed our diamonds are for development,” he said.
Motlhabani said that their vision for diamonds entails a flourishing diamond mining sector, with Botswana continuing to build on its reputation as one of the most favorable mining destinations in the world. He said as a result of this vision and the degree of patience and perseverance, they can now share with pride the country’s participation in every stage within the diamond value chain, from mining, sorting and selling through to trading, polishing, jewellery manufacturing and jewellery retail.
“Our company is committed to the full and responsible exploitation of the entire diamond pipeline from “mine to finger” as the saying goes. As the diamond landscape in Botswana continues to evolve we have witnessed the significant benefits it has brought to our country turning Botswana from one of the poorest and least developed countries in Africa before independence to one with a stable economy and a good track record of socio economic development,” said Motlhabani.
He however said that these developments whilst positive, they do not come without risks. He said that it is important for the nation to tirelessly guard the reputation of Botswana’s diamonds and diamonds in general. He further said in her pursuit for this commitment, Botswana government set up the diamond hub in 2008, as a catalyst for the development of Botswana as a flourishing one stop diamond centre. Motlhabani added that another initiative aimed at tirelessly guarding the reputation of diamonds is Botswana’s participation in the Kimberly Process.
Botswana is a founder member of the Kimberly Process and the main objective of this organization is to ensure the transparent use of diamonds as well as clear mechanisms for monetary compliance and accountability.
“I urge all of us to safeguard the reputation of our diamonds and to continue showcasing the pivotal role played by diamonds in Botswana’s success story. Such demonstration of national pride creates bonds of friendship with our fellow local and global citizens who then become our diamond ambassadors and rightfully promote the reputation of our diamonds and our country,” he said.