Monday, December 11, 2023

Let youth reap from their country’s diamonds – Olopeng

Lack of youth involvement in the mining sector is robbing the nation of the future strategies on their innovation 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’s 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 criticised the mining giant and Botswana arguing that the youth were the most affected while the former was sharing slightly more than the country.

He said Botswana should not have ‘equal’ shareholding with the ‘family company’ while it was the highest producer of diamonds by value in the world.


Read this week's paper