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Government eyes bigger piece of diamond pie

25 May 2023

Government is in talks with De Beers Group in order to have its longtime partnership,  which binds Botswana to trade only in rough diamonds, reviewed at the expiration of contract.

President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi said in Mmadinare yesterday that rough diamonds only generated around US$8 billion annually.

Government had since discovered that worldwide rough diamonds generated a total of US$15bn annually while the processed variety yielded a total of US$100bn a year, he told residents during the official opening of a kgotla shelter.

Dr Masisi said government planned to negotiate for a better share to help Botswana increase its diamond revenue which would go a long way in helping the country realise its high income economy dream.

It would also help the country to eradicate poverty and generally transform the lives of Batswana for the better, he said.

On the P2.7m kgotla shelter project, the President commended the Mmadinare community for working together to complete it.

“You made this country proud and I applaud you for the job well done,” he said.

President Masisi said the delivery of the project contributed immensely to the strengthening of Botswana’s democracy.

He described the kgotla as an embodiment of Setswana culture which provided a platform  for community members to meet, discuss, deliberate and make decisions that affected them.

It was also a platform for consultations and exchange of ideas on major community and national issues, Dr Masisi said adding that the kgotla embraced tolerance and freedom of expression and was thus a pillar of the peace Botswana was known for.

The President said the spirit of volunteerism, cooperation and unity shown by the people of Mmadinare was in line with Vision 2036 and the Reset Agenda which held traditional leadership in high regard.

He informed his audience of the ongoing consultations on the review of the Bogosi Act urging them to have a meaningful contribution when the issue was tabled before them.

Giving an overview, project committee chairperson Mr Modisa Motshegwa said prior to the shelter’s construction, the committee traversed the country on a benchmarking mission and consulted the community regularly.

The project elicited the spirit of volunteerism, total commitment, high sense of consultation and communication from Mmadinare community members, he said.

Mr Motshegwa said the kgotla shelter idea was the brainchild of then Mmadinare chief Kgosi Seeletso.

The ground breaking was done in 2017 under the leadership of Kgosi Mphoeng, he said.

Mmadinare’s Kgosi Maureen Mphoeng thanked President Masisi for contributing to the fund raising efforts for shelter’s construction. Ends

Source : BOPA

Author : Kgotsofalang Botsang

Location : Mmadinare

Event : Official opening

Date : 25 May 2023