Welcome to the August edition of The Projects Magazine. This edition is headlined by De Beers Group, following exclusive interviews with its key personnel to look into among others; strategic leadership of the organisation during a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous world; expansion projects, technological investments and Building Forever — the company’s commitment to creating impactful and lasting positive legacy.
De Beers remains a critical player in Botswana’s economy. Together with the Government of Botswana(GoB) they co-own (50/50) Debswana — the world’s leading rough diamonds producer by value, and Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) — the world largest and most sophisticated diamond processing company, further-more GoB directly owns 15 percent of the entire De Beers Group, all this contributes around 30 percent toward Botswana’s national budget.
De Beers partnership with the Government of Botswana is one of the most iconic in the world, and it has been replicated — as a result of its success — in other countries such as Namibia. This partnership has been the driving force for Botswana economy since discovery of diamonds in 1967.
In this edition, we highlight the resilience of De Beers as company, having had to adapt to face most global challenges in the last decade, beginning with the 2008 global financial crisis, to United States – China trade war and ultimately the Corona Virus Disease of 2019 (COVID-19), which had the most devastating economic impact since the Great Depression in 1929. De Beers has proved its ability to adapt and persevere during the hardest time. Many companies do not have such resilience, thanks to its capable leadership.
In this edition, we also look into the future of De Beers, and massive projects they are currently investing in. Given the amount of investment put by the company, it is clear that De Beers is confident about the future of diamonds. We should be confident as well, but without downplaying the need to diversify the economy away from diamonds. The mining industry still has a lot to offer, those opportunities should be pursued when feasible.
De Beers also expanded on its Building Forever initiative, the company’s vision in giving back to the world and ensuring positive impact. Through Building Forever, is making impact to the communities it operates in, beyond the conventional contribution to national coffers. It is an ambitious initiative, and would surely deliver maximum impact.
In other exciting news, Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI) has commenced the construction of a new Blending and Filling laboratory, a development that will see Botswana evolving into being a key player in unlocking Africa’s vast livestock potential in vaccine production.
Under the leadership of Andrew Madeswi — who took over last year as General Manager — BVI is investing P300 million in the project. BVI, is evolving from just being a vaccine supplier to offering complete solutions through their total customer value proposition, where they seek to offer technical services pre-vaccination, vaccination strategy and to also provide quality assurance post vaccination.
The Botswana – South Africa Business Forum, the first of its kind, headlined by President Mokgweetsi Masisi and President Cyril Ramaphosa, discussed important commitments such as investing in critical infrastructure to help in easing business between the two countries. Infrastructure is important because it is an enabler. There is potential in improving trade, but such potential can only be harnessed if both Botswana and South Africa invest in infrastructure that will link the two countries.
South Africa is Botswana’s biggest trading partner, but as we well all know it, it has always been a one sided-affair. Botswana’s economy cannot outcompete South African economy, even when it comes to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) attraction. It has bigger population, good infrastructure, and it is the most industrialised economy in Africa. Botswana does not need to compete with South Africa, but has to leverage on the business ecosystem that exist of the size of South African economy. Opportunities where Botswana can play a critical role were discussed at the forum.
Enjoy your read!