The diamond power house De Beers Botswana says it is contributing to the evolution of jewellery design through efforts to create opportunities for young aspiring jewellery designers to develop their skills, and gain valuable exposure in the diamond industry.
Speaking at the 2020 – 2021 De Beers Group Designers Initiative (DBGDI) Shining Light Awards, Vice President Corporate Affairs De Beers Global Sightholder Sales, Otsile Mabeo said the Shining Light Awards form part of De Beers’ commitment and passion to ensure that every diamond discovered, creates a lasting positive impact for the people in the counties where they are sourced. She stated that this sustainability plan is called Building Forever, and that it sits at the heart of everything that they do.
“It is about all of us, coming together, to create a lasting positive impact that will prevail long after the very last diamond has been discovered. And a critical part of creating that lasting impact is skills development,” said Mabeo.
She further stated that the shining lights program is about taking the best talent and giving them the opportunity for skills development and exposure to the world of jewellery design. She added that with those skills and that kind of experience, all sorts of opportunities can open up and that skills development program does not end here. She believes that it is truly incredible and inspiring to have been able to see some of the work coming from our young designers and that it is telling of the extensive talent that they have.
“One of the four pillars of building forever, accelerating equal opportunities, ensures there is focused work to accelerate economic inclusion and support diverse voices to help shape the future of our business, communities and society,” she said.
Also stated is that the focus ensures that De Beers creates equal opportunity for all by building a more inclusive workforce, supporting women in business and tech, and increasing diverse creative talent within the jewellery sector.
For her part De Beers Head of Human Resources-Diamond Trading, Matlhonolo Mponang stated that they want to work with their customers to create a digitally connected, efficient, trusted, traceable and financially robust value chain that uses data-driven insights to continually transform and grow. She said the De Beers Group Designers Initiative is a youth Beneficiation skills development initiative aimed at capacitating young aspiring designers with jewellery design skills in the De Beers producer countries. She added that the Shining Light Awards (SLA) Competition has existed for 13 years in Botswana and Namibia, 21 years in South Africa and four years in Canada.
“Our clients engage in a wide range of activities and business models across the diamond pipeline,” she said.
She further stated that the SLA are a key component of the Building Forever focus on accelerating equal opportunities thorough facilitating an increase in diverse creative talent and skills development within the jewellery sector supporting young jewelers from their diamond producing countries of Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa.
“Beneficiation is the process of working with producer governments to ensure that, beyond mining, they have the opportunities to participate in the diamond value chain and stimulate economic growth,” said Mponang.