Thank you for inviting Debswana to speak at this networking session for the Consultative Workshop on Partner Collaboration between the Media and Training Institutions. In recent weeks there have been utterances of a recovery in the diamond industry, however since the recession in 2008, the industry is acutely aware we will continue to operate in an unpredictable, volatile and ever changing market. This means that our production has to be synchronised with global demand for our product and that requires agility and flexibly. Commonly, when market downturns occur, the first adjustments made by organisations in order to survive is the reduction and even cessation of discretionary spend. I am certain that all of us in the room are familiar with the fact that these budgets cut usually include in advertising and marketing. However, during this period where Debswana has had to ensure its survival, we saw it fit to sponsor this workshop. During the outline of the purpose of the workshop, Mr Methaetsile Leepile of Motlabaseyo Integrated Management Services (MIMS), co-convenors of this gathering with MISA Botswana, highlighted that deliberations will include, among others, identifying barriers of training and development of journalists, approaches to training and opportunities between training institutions and international associations. There are great possibilities you can explore with international associations to assist in equipping our journalists to possess the same calibre of investigation and reporting skills as media practitioners regionally and globally. This begins with comprehension and understanding of the subject matter, such as the type of legally entity an organisation is which is paramount to the framing of an enquiry. Mr Leepile also spoke about action plans, targets and assigning of responsible people and timescales. These are indicators are what we look forward to receiving feedback on, in order to track the impact of this workshop. With training institutions present here, I would like to encourage you to explore the opportunities that lie in media monitoring. As an independent third party, your role in researching return on investment and media reach can be useful to organisations such as Debswana. I would like to encourage you to ensure that women have equal or even more opportunity to participate in this workshop and in the media industry of Botswana. As an organisation, we are keenly interested in the furtherance of women and girls empowerment and we would like to ensure that their input into the economy of Botswana is strengthened.
These remarks were made by Debswana’s Corporate Affairs Manager (Social Performance), Boikhutso Malela at the Networking Session during last week’s Workshop on Partner Collaboration between Media and Training Institutions. Debswana was one of the main sponsors of the event.