The United States Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, Robert Hormats, recently visited the Safdico Botswana facility to get first hand information and education of diamonds production.
Facilitating the tour, Safdico Chief Executive Officer, Rutang Moses, stated that Safdico launched its world class Diamond Technology Park (DTP) in January 2009. She added that DTP houses diamond and jewellery manufacturers, mining companies and those servicing the diamond industry.
“The Diamond Hub, Banks, Brokers, the GIA, Courier services and Botswana Police satellite are part of the different stakeholders who are serving the industry here,” said Moses.
Highlighting the achievements at the facility, she said it had established world class diamond cutting and polishing facility. She added that it leveraged off group business model to build competency, technology and skills to polish stones. Furthermore, Safdico CEO said that it is also BOTA accredited and ISO 9001:2008 registered company. She added that they trained locals in-house who are now polishing Triple Excellent GIA certified large diamonds.
“We have invested in market leading technology solutions and also established state of the art diamond Technology Park,” she said.
Moses stated that DTP successfully developed and fully let, attracts substantial FDI, addresses Botswana’s need for employment creation, skills development and beneficiation. She said Over 570 staff employed within the DTP by all operators and added that it has created secure and efficient environment.
“The park also promotes development of diamond tourism there is established zebra enclosure – Nations’ pride as well as our usual diamonds tours,” CEO said.
Moses stated that the policy is to give back to communities where Safdico operates and added that they have developed 2nd Graff Leadership Centre in Mochudi as part of Safdico social corporate responsibility. She said the centre focuses on developing youth for future leadership roles. He said the centre offers an after-school programme, with priority focus on training and mentorship for orphaned and vulnerable youth aged 12-18.
Safdico CEO revealed that expanding DTP with state-of-the art diamond trading facility is in the pipeline. She said equipping facility with technology, skills and equipment to operate diamond tenders is expected also to take place soon.
“We are expecting to attract local, African and international producers to tender goods in Botswana at DTP facility creating vibrant secondary marketplace and construction completed is already completed.”
Moses stated that the DTP is fully let and its expansion, by adding the diamond trading facility, is part of Safdico’s business model to grow with the diamond industry and to support the Botswana Government’s aspiration of transforming the country from a leading diamond producer into a fully integrated world diamond centre by developing the many downstream activities of the diamond value chain in Botswana.