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‘Collaboration has underpinned diamond industry’s success’

06 november 2019

Collaboration has underpinned the diamond industry’s success for many decades and will likely not change in years to come, says De Beers chief executive Bruce Cleaver.
He told a diamond conference in Gaborone that there are many forms of collaboration that will be necessary in his envisaged new diamond world for example, collaborating to ensure mutually beneficial relationships for communities and businesses, collaborating to maintain long lasting and meaningful relationship that form the bedrock of the entire diamond industry.
He lauded his company’s collaboration with Botswana for the past 50 years.
Debswana, a joint venture between De Beers and Botswana government, contributes almost 50% of public revenue, 33% of GDP, and more than 60% of foreign earnings to Botswana.
Diamond revenues in Botswana are used to develop human capital, build infrastructure such as roads, hospitals, schools and to improve the income of Botswana’s citizens. 
The partners are currently negotiating a new sales and marketing agreement to replace the current deal, which expires next year.
Gaborone wants to boost its share of independently marketed and sold rough to 30% from the current 15%.  
It also wants to be heavily involved in setting rough prices for its goods, which are currently decided almost singlehandedly by De Beers.  
Meanwhile, Cleaver said diamonds will continue to play a central role of Botswana’s ongoing development.
“It’s a creative approach to combine the requirements of industry leadership and statesmanship,” he said.
“We are inspired by Masisi’s vision for a knowledge based economy…As Botswana’s dedicated partner for 50 years am proud to say that every man and woman [at De Beers] is committed to turning the president’s vision for the nation to a lasting reality.”

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished