As part of De Beers Group of Companies’ on-going collaboration with Botswana’s Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, the group has supported 15 youth innovative entrepreneurs and 32 athletes from the 16 Districts across the country. The De Beers Group of Companies created an innovators Hub at the 2017 Diacore Marathon, this follows on from the De Beers Youth Innovators Botswana initiative which was launched in 2016, a platform for young innovative entrepreneurs to showcase their entrepreneurial skills. This year, 15 youth entrepreneurs were accorded the opportunity to exhibit their products and services at the De Beers Youth Innovators Hub set up at the Diacore Marathon this past weekend. Furthermore, through collaboration with PGM Foundation and the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, De Beers identified and sponsored 32 athletes from 16 districts to participate in the grand race. “One of our focus areas is human and social development. Through developing key initiatives, we aim to improve the lives of youth and the community in collaboration with strategic partners, it is through this marathon that we drive youth empowerment and participation,’’ said Pat Dambe, Vice President – Corporate Affairs and Government Relations at De Beers Global Sightholder Sales.
Since the inception of the De Beers Youth Innovators Botswana programme, the initiative has opened doors for the youth and has yielded results giving entrepreneurs access to market, allowing them to grow sustainable businesses which leads to employment opportunities in the long term - ultimately contributing towards building a diverse economy. “It’s great to see initiatives like these, particularly where the ministry is not the lead, it’s inspiring to see the enthusiasm from the youth and their drive to market their products,” said Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Kago Ramokate. “For us to continue building and growing Botswana to its full potential, it is imperative that we build on-going public-private partnerships whereby we enable the youth to contribute to the economy. The De Beers Youth Innovators Botswana initiative is a prime example of how business investment in youth development can yield tangible results for the country.”