Lack of youth involvement in the mining sector is robbing the nation of future innovation strategies to grow the diamond industry. Speaking at the Diamond Red Carpet Banquet on Wednesday, Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development Thapelo Olopeng called on De Beers’ mining company to consider working with youth businesses in the mining sector.
He said diamond revenues were the main drivers of the high economic growth that Botswana is experiencing today and urged De Beers to encourage youth participation. Olopeng explained that government could fully empower and develop the youth and urged for collective working relations from the business community to mentor them into successful entrepreneurs.
”Government alone cannot fully empower and develop the youth. We should collectively work together to mentor them into successful entrepreneurs. That is why I’m urging you ‘De Beers Family’ to consider affirmative action for youth businesses,’ said Olopeng.
Olopeng called on De Beers to consider taking affirmative action to support the youth because they have the potential to support future industrial needs and with a solution to the country’s high unemployment rate.
This week during a debate in Parliament on the Draft National Development Plan 11 (NDP 11), Member of Parliament for Ramotswa Constituency Samuel Rantuane called on government to review its shareholding with De Beers and propose at least a 20 percent for De Beers and 80 percent for Botswana.
Rantuane also said the youth were the most affected adding that Botswana should not have ‘equal’ shareholding with the ‘family company’.