Celebrating Debswana’s 55 years of impact and more than diamond mining

MINING EXCELLENCE: Debswana Diamond Company mine

On 23rd June 2024, Debswana Diamond Company will proudly commemorate Debswana Day, marking 55 years of pioneering contributions to Botswana’s development under the theme “More Than Diamond Mining”.

As per custom at Debswana, the month of June is termed “Debswana Month” as we reflect and commemorate this great company’s milestones; also noting that Debswana is one of the most successful private-public partnerships in Africa and the world.

This 55-year milestone not only showcases the organisation’s rich history and success in diamond mining; it also showcases its unwavering dedication to the nation’s economic development, growth and prosperity.

From humble beginnings in 1969, Debswana has been at the heart of Botswana’s economic transformation.

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Over the past five and a half decades, its journey has been one of resilience, uncovering Botswana’s limitless potential and creating timeless and tangible legacy of undeniable impact.

The anniversary theme, “More Than Diamond Mining,” encapsulates Debswana’s broader mission; to transcend the extraction of precious gems and positively contribute and impact various areas of importance in the economy and lives of Batswana.

The organisation has been instrumental in fostering infrastructure development, enhancing healthcare, creating employment opportunities, and advancing positive education outcomes, amongst others.

Debswana is indeed a pioneer in various areas, other than mining.

The company founded entities such as Botswana Accountancy College, Pula Medical Aid, Broadhurst Primary School, three schools in Orapa and Jwaneng, hospitals in Orapa and Jwaneng, Debswana Pension Fund, Sesiro Insurance Company.

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Through the then Peo Venture Capital, its partnership with De Beers, it also funded the establishment of Ba Isago University, Solahart Botswana, Sunday Standard newspaper, Massyn Moves in Botswana, Landscape Solutions, Transport Holdings, NTR Technologies and many others.

To date, Debswana runs two hospitals in Jwaneng and Orapa, which serve over 200,000 patients annually, at a cost of P160 million per annum.

At our mines, the organisation also ensures that for every one hector of land mined, five and more hectors remain reserved for conservation purposes.

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With regard to human resource development Debswana has since the early ‘70s, trained over 1,160 Batswana through its scholarship programme in various fields, including geology, engineering, metallurgy, medicine, physiotherapy, dentistry, human resources, etc.

Many Debswana scholarship beneficiaries studied at the top universities in the world and work in various areas in Botswana and across the world.

Debswana has trained, not only for Debswana and Botswana, but for the world.

Debswana is Botswana’s largest private sector employer with close to 12,000 employees and contractor employees.

The company has also, and in stimulated job creation Debswana has generated over 18,000 jobs through its Citizen Economic Empowerment Programme (CEEP) and Corporate Social Investment Programme and is working towards having created and supported 20,000 jobs in Botswana by the end of 2024.

These are a few ways the organisation has worked to ensure growth and development across the country.

Said Debswana Managing Director, Andrew Maatla Motsomi, “The story of Debswana is a story of transformation.

We have substantially contributed to enriching and developing the national economy while also intentionally ensuring that we continuously invest in uplifting the lives of Batswana.

Through our operational efforts, we have unearthed not just diamonds, but revenues to Government to develop the country and positively impact education opportunities, community development initiatives and health services.

As we reflect on our journey, we are filled with nostalgia and pride.

Each milestone reached and every diamond unearthed has been a step towards shaping a brighter future for Botswana.

Our story is one of shared success, built on the collective efforts of our dedicated employees, supportive communities, and steadfast partners.

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As one of Botswana’s largest employers, we take pride in providing meaningful employment to thousands, supporting livelihoods and boosting the national economy.

We understand the responsibility we hold in this regard.”

Debswana’s commitment to excellence remains unwavering we look forward to the future. We are poised to continue driving positive change, championing responsible mining practices, and enhancing our social impact.

“As we continue to mine diamonds safely, optimally and responsibly and reflect on over 5 decades of “More than Diamond Mining”, we will not only celebrate our operational successes; we will shine a bright light on the human stories that reflect the impact Debswana has had on the lives of Batswana.

Each Motswana has a diamond story to tell – from receiving free education, free health services, benefiting from the infrastructure we have across the country and many more.

Together, we will continue to create a legacy that is truly more than diamond mining. Our vision for the next 55 years is clear: to remain a beacon of progress and a catalyst for sustainable development,” concluded Mr. Motsomi.

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