The President of Namibian Dr Hage Geingob has praised Botswana for its way of handling the diamond industry. President Geingob made the statement when touring the Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) on Tuesday as part of his two-day state visit to the country. He said facilities at DTCB were impressive and Namibia could learn from the diamond processing arrangement between De Beers and the Botswana government owned Okavango Diamond Company (ODC). DTCB Managing Director, Tabake Kobedi, had explained that they source raw diamonds from De Beers mines in Botswana and elsewhere, cut and polish them before re-selling the commodities back to De Beers and ODC. “We also have similar facilities but these are very impressive. I think we can learn from our brothers. Namibia is not a small player in the industry but we can learn from what you are doing here. Collaboration is great, we have the best of relationships with Botswana,”said Dr Geingob, adding that the two countries have always enjoyed good realtions and could work together in diamond business.
Dr Geingob commended Botswana and Namibia as some of the few countries in Africa where there is smooth transition of power, saying the two countries are setting the tone for a new Africa where leaders do not come to power through coups. He said since former President Sir Ketumile Masire set the tone in 1998 by voluntarily relinquishing power 28 more African leaders have followed suit. As part of his state visit Dr Geingob met President Ian Khama to deliberate on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest before attending a luncheon hosted by the latter on Monday. Dr Geingob said Botswana has a sound democratic governance architecture, well managed economy and low corruption rate, which is admired by many African nations. “Be proud of what you are doing, sometimes people don’t appreciate what they have until it’s gone,” he said, adding that he is aware that Botswana faces challenges among them poverty and unemployment, which he said the country can overcome.
The two Presidents also discussed ways to address the challenges like the energy crisis in the region, drought and water scarcity. Dr Geingob said Namibia has provided Botswana with a dry port at Walvis Bay so that the country could have access to the sea, and enjoy the benefits of unrestricted trade. Dr Geingob also participated at the official opening of the Botswana-Namibia Business Seminar on Tuesday morning, before he toured the Diamond Trading Company of Botswana (DTCB) in Gaborone. He also toured the world's biggest diamond producer by value- Debswana's Jwaneng Mine, before returning home on Tuesday afternoon.