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Rough diamond demand remains moderate in 2021

Rough diamonds

De Beers Group has announced the value of rough diamonds (Global Sight holder Sales and Auctions) for the third sales cycle of 2021. According to De Beers Group, sales from rough diamonds between 22 March and 6th April 2021 were valued at 440 million US Dollars, as compared to 550 million US Dollars in the Cycle 2 2021.

The Group says owing to the restrictions on the movement of people and products in various jurisdictions around the globe, it continued to implement a more flexible approach to rough diamond sales during this period (Cycle 3 2021). The sight event was extended beyond its normal week-long duration.

Chief Executive Officer, Bruce Cleaver noted that “Following a good holiday season and that trend continuing during the first quarter of 2021, we have again seen solid demand for rough diamonds as we begin a traditionally quieter period of the year for the diamond industry.”

Cleaver said in a statement that sales were in line with expectations and both market sentiment and overall industry conditions remain positive. However, with the pandemic developments in Europe and Mumbai’s recent lockdown resulting in the Bharat Diamond Bourse being closed, Cleaver stressed that it is clear that they will continue to see challenges relating to COVID-19.

The Cycle 2 of 2021 saw De Beers’ rough diamond figures standing at 550 million US Dollars, following the continuation of good rough diamond demands during this cycle of 2021 on the back of positive consumer demand for diamond jewellery.

De Beers Chief underlined that midstream buyers continued to express healthy demand following better than expected retail sales of diamond jewellery over Christmas, Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day, with the industry now set to enter what is traditionally a period of lower seasonal demand. While the year has started positively, De Beers recognizes that short-term uncertainty in the pace and shape of the recovery remains.

In Cycle 1 2021, rough diamond sales stood at 663 million US Dollars, an increase from 362 million US Dollars in the previous sales (of Cycle 2 2020).  Meanwhile, De Beers Group’s latest Diamond Insight “Flash” report found increasing Lab-grown diamonds (LGDs) among US consumers (with about two-thirds of fine jewellery consumers aware of the concept), allied to a growing perception that LGDs occupy a distinct position in the category as new, modern, fun, and appealing for impulse or self-purchase.

The research showed that consumers differentiate natural diamonds from LGDs by attributing them the key category territories of “authentic” (60% vs 6% for LGD); “romantic” (41% vs 6% for LGD); and “would make me feel special” (37% vs 3% for LGD). The top US consumer concerns regarding LGDs remained that they were not as rare as natural diamonds and will not retain their value over time, with seven out of 10 consumers stating that they would not pay more than $1000 for a piece of LGD jewellery.

The report says while 47% of consumers did not agree with the statement that lab-grown diamonds are “real”, consumers will still consider acquiring them as they are perceived as “fun” and “fashionable”, cost less than natural diamonds, and are seen as good for a self-purchase item as an alternative to apparel or leather goods.

A March 2021 De Beers consumers survey highlighted similar consumer sentiments regarding the value of LGDs. In a scenario where consumers buy LGD jewellery and the price of LGDs drops by 50%-60% over the subsequent two year period while natural diamonds remain priced the same or higher, more than half (25%) of American consumers would either be less likely, or simply refuse to buy fine jewellery from the jewellers who sell them this product. This negative impact, the report says, is strongest for women, at 58%.

Commenting on the research findings, Steve Coe, CEO of Lightbox Jewellery stated that; “We have always sold our LGDs at a fair and transparent price, derived from a reasonable commercial margin above the actual production cost, rather than hitching it to what a natural diamond’s value might be. Recent LGD price falls simply indicate that we are today where others will likely be tomorrow. Around or below $1000. Exactly where the consumers want us to be.”


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.

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Still doing business the old way?

18th November 2022

It’s time to get business done better with MTN Business Botswana’s 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.
MTN’s 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.

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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 institution’s 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 personnel’s 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.

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