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De Beers clinches 35 years diamond mining deal in Angola 

De Beers CEO: Bruce Cleaver

Top diamond miner De Beers Group, a unit of diversified mining conglomerate Anglo American, on Wednesday announced a watershed diamond resource development deal, expanding its African footprint with a return to Angola, a former supplier country for the company. 

The London headquartered – over 100 year old diamond mining giant announced it has signed two Mineral Investment Contracts (MICs) with the Government of Angola for licence areas in north-eastern Angola. The signing of the MICs follows the announcement in late 2021 that De Beers had applied to explore in Angola following substantive reforms in the country’s diamond sector.

De Beers explained in a statement Wednesday morning that the MICs for the two licence areas are for the award and exercise of mineral rights covering all stages of diamond resource development, from exploration to mining, and span a period of 35 years. Each concession area will be held by a separate new joint venture company formed by De Beers Group and Endiama, Angola’s state-owned diamond company.

De Beers Group will hold a substantial majority in the new companies, with Endiama having the ability to incrementally increase its equity share over time in line with certain conditions outlined in the shareholder agreements, albeit with De Beers Group maintaining a substantial majority.

De Beers Group Chief Executive Officer Bruce Cleaver cheered the deal as a major milestone for both parties. “The signing of these contracts represents an important milestone in our new partnership with Angola, which is based on a mutual desire to build a thriving diamond sector that delivers meaningful socioeconomic benefit for Angola’s citizens,” he said.

Cleaver applauded Angola for putting in place serious reforms to make its diamond mining environment attractive again.

“Angola has worked hard in recent years to create a stable and attractive investment environment and we are pleased to be returning to active exploration in the country. Angola remains highly prospective and we look forward to being part of this next stage in the development of Angola’s diamond sector,” the De Beers Chief said.

De Beers says following the signing of the MICs, and subject to the fulfilment of relevant regulatory conditions, the Group expects to commence exploration activities in the licence areas this year.  The company however noted that “any resource development beyond exploration will depend on the outcome of exploration activities and the economic potential of the diamond deposit.”

De Beers says its diamond resource development in Angola, right from exploration, like with other jurisdictions, will be underpinned by the company’s FutureSmart Mining programme, which brings together innovative technologies and approaches to deliver improved sustainability outcomes, along with De Beers Group’s Building Forever sustainability framework.

De Beers Group has a long track record of operating responsibly in Southern Africa, including long-standing and highly regarded operations in Botswana and Namibia. In Botswana, through Debswana, a 50/50 joint venture with Botswana Government, De Beers operates some of the world’s largest diamond mines, including Jwaneng, the world richest by value and the group’s biggest rough contributor by far.

De Beers, 15 percent owned by the Government of Botswana left Angola in 2001 after talks to renew business agreements with the government failed. De Beers, announced in October 1999 that would no longer purchase diamonds from Angola in support of “the UN attempt to bring peace and stability” to the war-torn country, citing that diamond money was potentially one of the leading funding channels for insurgents in a civil war that lasted for decades.

The diamond mining behemoth has however, been prospecting a comeback and plotting a return to Angola since 2014. Angola is one of the world diamond rich countries with chunk of untapped resources. It is the world’s sixth-biggest producer and third on the African continent after

Botswana and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). According to the African Diamond Council, the diamond industry in Angola represents nearly 1.2 billion euros in annual production. Angola produced 8 million carats of rough diamonds in 2020, a 15.4% decrease from 2019’s 9.4 million, according to Angola’s Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum.

In a bid to diversify its revenue stream away from overreliance on oil, Angola enacted reforms to its mining sector geared towards improving the regulatory environment, the president says. The reforms included a new model for governing the sector, and the creation of the National Agency for Mineral Resources tasked with regulating, inspecting and promoting diamond mining.

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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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