Connect with us
Advertisement

Africa diamond-producing countries receive US$8.1b from 2018 global sales??

Diamond-producing countries in Africa, including Botswana, in 2018 received a total of US$8.1 billion translating to 9.5 percent of the total global revenue of US$85.9 billion generated from the sale of diamond jewellery.



This was announced by the World Diamond Council (WDC) president, Stephane Fischler ahead of the 2019 Kimberley Process plenary meeting, which will be held in New Delhi, India next week.

He said although some countries in Africa had considered the amount they received as insufficient, the economic potential of the diamond resource whose value increased by five as it travelled from the mine to the retail jeweler, was indisputable.



"Diamond deposits hold the promise of a better future for all African producing countries, and more specifically for the communities living in areas where they are located," Fischler said.

He added; "To realise this promise, those mining the product need to receive fair value for their labour and capital investment, and an appropriate proportion of revenues generated must be used to create sustainable economic and social opportunities at the grassroots level.

"
Fischler said the long-term developmental for the potential of the product to be realised, diamonds must continue to be an aspirational purchase for buyers.

"Because they can live without diamonds, they will only buy them if they want to.  There were 10 million Africans whose income depended on continuing demand for diamond jewellery in consuming countries.  Reputation, therefore, is a key element, and defending that reputation is of paramount importance.

If the integrity of the diamond is undermined, so is the economic potential of the product," he said.

Turning to the 2019 Kimberley Process plenary meeting to be held next week in India, Fischer stressed on the importance of progress being made in strengthening the scope of the Kimberly Process certification scheme, as part of the three-year review and reform cycle that was ending this month.

"More specifically, we are talking about amending the definition of conflict diamonds so that it better enables us to provide an assurance that the trade in rough diamonds cannot fund the types of systemic violence being seen in certain diamond-mining areas today," he said.



The WDC president also announced that the WDC was rolling out a new System of Warranties (SOW), which "has scope that goes significantly beyond that of the Kimberly Process."

"The new system will require members of the industry to include on all invoices and memo documents that they adhere to the WDC guidelines.  The guidelines include reference to international conventions relating to human and labour rights, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering," he said.

Organisers involved in to the build-up to the KP plenary meeting said they were experiencing 'whirlwind days' ahead of the event.

The meeting will start on November 18 and end on November 22.  With a range of critical issues yet to be resolved, delegates to the plenary meeting are currently sharing and promoting last minute positions during bilateral meetings in different parts of the world and strategically scheduled conferences, attended by many of the key players in the diamond industry.  Some of the meetings held to date include the Russia-Africa Summit which took place in Sochi, Russia last month and the diamond conference held in Gaborone early this month.


"The final minutes are on the clock for the Kimberley Process's three-year review and reform cycle, which began in 2016 and will end at the plenary meeting under chairmanship of India.  Some tough discussions will take place, as difficult decisions need to be made – none more so than whether the scope of the Kimberley Process certification scheme will be strengthened," the WDC said in a statement released this week.
"At the heart of the debate is the definition of what constitutes a 'conflict diamond'. 

Currently, it is unchanged from the launch of the Kimberley Process certification scheme in 2003.  This means that only diamonds whose proceeds are fuelling civil war against legitimate Governments are targeted.  Recognising the outdated definition, the WDC, together with the civil society and many Government representatives, are insisting that it should be amended to include instances of unacceptable violence in the supply chain during peacetime as well," WDC said.

Other proposals submitted by Botswana and Russia are on the table.  



The Kimberley Process plenary meetings bring together under its umbrella, industry, human rights activists and Governments from both the developed and developing world.  It has succeeded in enforcing tough policies in the past.

"But will it be able to rise to the occasion once again, or will it be hamstrung by the Kimberley Process members' short-term political interests?  While we are active on all committees and subcommittees, when the time comes to vote, only Government members have the right to do so," noted the WDC.



"While we do not have the final say on the future scope of the Kimberley Process certification scheme, we most definitely are able to set responsible industry standards for the goods reaching the market.  This goes beyond the Kimberley Process' currently limited 'conflict diamonds' definition, expressly referencing international conventions relating to human and labour rights 

"The question is whether, after New Delhi, all participants in the tripartite coalition will be travelling together and at the same speed.  One way or another, the 2019 Kimberly Process plenary will represent a watershed moment for the industry," said WDC.

Continue Reading

Business

Food prices continue to rise, but at a slower rate

28th November 2022

Prices for cereals or staple foods in Botswana and other Southern African countries continue to rise at a slower pace, following trends in the global markets, according to the latest November 2022 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading

Business

Still doing business the old way?

18th November 2022

It’s time to get business done better with MTN Business Botswanas ICT Solutions.

Running a digital businessMTN Business Solutions Botswana, popularly known as MTN Business is an Internet Service Provider. We are a subsidiary of MTN Group Limited, a multinational telecommunications Group headquartered in South Africa, which operates in 19 markets across Africa and the Middle East.

More and more, clients are looking for ways to keep their staff productive in a dynamically changing business environment. Whether your people are working from home, the office or abroad, there is a growing recognition that digitising your operations can offer unprecedented commercial value in flexibility, productivity and growth. This new, digital reality means that it is more important than ever to stay agile – if there is anything that can slow a business down, it is being burdened by othatld technology.

Having made substantial investments in fibre technology, high-speed terrestrial and undersea networks and new frequency spectrum across the markets wherein it operates, MTN is perfectly positioned to respond to this shift in the market.

A few years ago, MTN also made the decision to build an IP capable radio network for its mobile services, giving its core network the ability to seamlessly integrate with enterprise IP networks. The mobile towers deliver services to enterprise clients absolutely anywhere it has a network, shortening the last mile and removing complexity and cost.

Now there is increasing demand from clients to connect their remote sites in all areas, including rural and semi- rural. MTN has assisted clients with overcoming this connectivity hurdle, enabling their staff to get the job done wherever they are.
MTNs evolution

For MTN, the focus has shifted from just being a core telecommunications services provider, towards also becoming a technology solutions provider. The service offering now also includes Unified Communications, Data Hosting and Cloud Solutions, Security-As-A-Service and Managed Network Services. The scope has changed to being client and industry specific, so the requirements and service portfolio vary from one client to the next. The expectation is that a company like MTN must respond to these challenges, helping clients to get business done better as they shift from old to new technologies.

As many businesses continue to grapple with a digitally dynamic world, they face new challenges that have to be solved. This environment will benefit those that are more digitally enabled and agile. It is a brave new world that will favour online over on-site, wireless over wired and fluid over formulaic. Businesses will seek out partners and suppliers that are every bit as flexible and forward-looking as they are.
Ultimately, clients need partners like MTN Business that will invest in infrastructure, deliver the services they require, have market credibility, are financially sound and have a long-term commitment to their market presence.

Continue Reading

Business

BIE to vitalize the Dignity of Engineers

9th November 2022

Botswana Institution Of Engineers (BIE), has last week hosted a gala dinner in which they appreciated engineers who worked tirelessly and with dedication for 10 years from 1983 to steer the BIE to its current status.

The event that was held at the Phakalane Golf Estate had brought together young, experienced and veteran engineers and was held under the theme Vitalize the dignity and eminence of all professional engineers.

Explaining the theme, the institutions treasurer, Thanabalasingam Raveendran said that engineers were looked upon reverentially with respect as the educated but with time it seems to have deteriorated. He indicated that there is a need to change the narrative by all means.

The BIE exists for the welfare and the betterment of us Botswana engineers, we need to recognize specialised units within our Institution. We Engineers strongly believe in Engineers make it happen Raveendran said.

He indicated that under the theme they appeal to all engineers to energize, to attain quality of being worthy of honour and respect and to achieve recognized superiority amongst the Society.

Raveendran stated that engineers need to ensure their end product is of good quality satisfying the end users expectations and engineers must be honest in their work.

Approximately 8000 engineers registered with Engineering Regulatory Board (ERB) are not members of the BIE, engineers need to make every effort to recruit them to BIE he said.

He alluded that BIE being a society, it currently needs to upgrade itself at par with professional institutions elsewhere like the UK and USA.

He further stated that BIE has to have engineering units of specialised disciplines like Civil/Mechanical/electrical etc

As President Masisi indicated in his inaugural speech, the young people, who make 60 percent of the population of this country, are the future leaders and therefore investing in them is building the bridge to the future said Raveendran

Kandima indicated that BIE has a memorandum of Understanding with Engineers Registration Board (ERB), where BIE is a recognised provider of CPD training, mentorship programmes and more importantly IPD undertaking to upgrade the skills and know-how of our engineers.

For us to achieve our mandate and make worthwhile changes to engineering in Botswana, we have to be totally focused and act with intent said Kandima.

Furthermore, Stephen Williams, past president of the BIE from 1986-1988 told the engineers that the BIE provides a fertile environment where they can meet, share ideas and grow professionally.

The BIE is also a nesting place for graduate engineers to learn from their peers and seniors, it also cater for engineering technicians and technologists and so nobody in the technology field is left out he said.

He further indicated that Botswana Government provides a conductive environment for growth of engineering professionals.

It must be stated that the Botswana Government recognises the existence of BIE and it can further be stated that the government enables ERB to carry out its mandate as a regulator of engineering professionals said Williams

He plead with engineering companies to recognize and support BIE as it is the only source of engineering personnels for various Industries .

Furthermore, when giving his farewell speech, Michael Pinard , a past president of the institution said how they are viewed as engineers by the general public might be due to some lack of appreciation as to exactly what role they play in the development of the country.

The BIE slogan is aptly coined-Engineers make it happen, in other words, what man dreams engineers create Said Pinard.

Continue Reading