FNB Acacia

Diamond Symposium 2018

SHARE   |   Thursday, 08 November 2018   |   By Ricardo Kanono
Pat Dambe Pat Dambe

De Beers Group of Companies Vice President Corporate Affairs and Government Relations Pat Dambe has announced that they wish to lead business for social capital, through shared value for consumers and business.

“Our strategic intent is to continue to enhance the De Beers’ strategic position by means of enabling purposeful robust relationships with our stakeholders through tangible and measurable initiatives that are sustainable in support of key pillars of Vision 2036 to impact the community and diamond sector. Our understanding of Vision2036 is that it aims at ensuring a common destiny of prosperity for Botswana that uses sustainability and transformation as a common lens and pathway towards national success,” Dambe said.

The Diamond Symposium 2018 consists of various events at different venues in and around Gaborone. Kicking starting the line-up on November 9th will be Stanford stakeholder cocktail, which will host cohort 1 & 2 and the media. This will be followed on November 10 by a day simply dubbed The Entrepreneurship Catalyst (TEC) which will bring together officials from the Government of Botswana (Ministry of Youth, Ministry of Tertiary Education), BIH, BITC, CEDA, LEA, Mayor of Gaborone, Gaborone City Council and Youth engaged in the Fashion, Food and Design, and Youth Entrepreneurs.

“Last year we ended up with 1400 youth and it was an incredible opportunity to have all this young entrepreneurs in a room talking and hearing from some experts who came from all over the world about how to become a success if you are a small business,” said Dambe.

The events will then resume on November 13 with the Diamond Conference which will be bring together government officials, Sight holders, diamond sector partners (nationally, regionally and internationally), media and the  private sector.

Later in the evening of that day the first ever Forevermark store in Africa will be officially opened by the First Lady of the Republic of Botswana, Neo Masisi.

“We worked very hard with the ministry to bring about the first Forevermark store in Botswana to be opened,” explained Dambe. The store is located at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport. The Shining Light Awards 2018 will follow on November 14, bringing together tertiary institutions that offer design courses, Sight holders and private sector leaders among others.

The W Summit will follow on Thursday – November 15. The primary objective of the W Summit is to provide a platform for women in business and strategic leadership to engage and collaborate in building prosperity and celebrate the continuous journey women have with diamonds. The first De Beers W summit was held in 2016.

Last year the event featured a range of high-profile figures, including Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Founder and CEO of African Fashion International as well as Deputy Chairperson and CEO of the Motsepe Foundation – which aims to reduce poverty through education.

De Beers Group last year forged a three-year partnership with UN Women to accelerate the advancement of women. Part of this involves investing US$3 million to support female micro-entrepreneurs and science, technology, engineering and Mathematics students in the Group’s diamond-producing countries and promote gender equality through its marketing campaigns.

The last day of the week-long symposium will see the launch of Thamaga Pottery Initiative.

“De Beers and government have now partnered with Thamaga pottery to bring back its renaissance. Twenty or so years ago, it was our pride and joy next to the baskets; we want to bring that back,” Dambe said.

The partnership will include among others taking design students to work with some of the ladies at Thamaga Pottery, redoing the production site and redoing the marketing, including through digital marketing.