Seven years back Debswana Diamond Company took a decision to set aside P20 billion for its Citizen Economic Empowerment Programme(CEEP). The hefty figure came with a bonus of creation of 20 000 jobs also over the years. Fast forward to this year, the programme seems to be making some positive strides with P12.2 billion already spent on the programme while 11 000 jobs have been created as a major milestone. To date 45 percent of the huge amount has been spent therefore leaving out even more opportunities for local enterprises to get the piece of the cake from the remaining 55 percent. In 2017, the programme gobbled P1.5 billion,2018 the figure jumped to P 1.8 billion while in 2019 only P2.3 billion was utilized. The year 2020 saw an amount of P2.2 billion being splashed on the programme while in 2021 and 2022 only P3.2 and P4.3 billion was used up. Most of the activities or jobs which have seen local enterprises taking up from Debswana's mining operations include drilling, sale of explosives, loading and hauling out waste and ore processing Speaking at The Trade Up North mining seminar in Jwaneng on Tuesday, Debswana's Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development Lead, Tefo Setlhare said mindset change from necessity entrepreneurship into opportunity entrepreneurship is a necessary evil. "Citizen Economic Empowerment requires scalable value, it means you have to have enterprises scalable in order to absorb and have direct jobs. High growth means we need to give our citizens the skill to create products and services with economic impact therefore bringing high growth and impact at the end of the day," said Setlhare. Some of Debswana's milestones in CEEP include the strategic partnership between Botswana Oil which is aimed at capacitating citizen owned companies in the fuel supply value chain. The five-year partnership, valued at P8 billion is set to create opportunities for support services along the oil value chain, such as trucks staging, truck stops, tyre services, wash bays, truck service, maintenance jobs and other related support activities for Batswana. Some of the other available opportunities available in mining include; innovation on mining value chains ,metal fabrication, component manufacturing and after market services. For his part Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Entrepreneurship Joel Ramaphoi said as the government they are adopting an anchor firm approach as an integrated framework for cluster and value chains to increase local content. "Integration of SMEs into the value chains is the priority area. In order to achieve this anchor firm approach we need to analyze value chains and select buyers in identified significant backward linkages," said Ramaphoi.