Eight cheers for De Beers

Baitshepi Sekgweng
SPARKLING SMILE: Oarabile Hendrick
  • Diamond giant’s celebrate latest Academy graduates

As part of its on-going efforts to ensure young Batswana are adequately positioned to deliver within the diamond industry, the De Beers Group graduated its sixth cohort of students from its Global Learning Academy last week.

The eight graduates went through four months of training in diamond sorting and evaluation skills development programme.

The Programme is designed to give locals an opportunity to participate within the diamond value chain and also gives them the opportunity to learn more about the sparkly stones and their impact on Botswana’s socio-economic development.

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Facilitated by DeBeers Group, it is the first time the programme has been held since Covid-19 hit two years ago.

Speaking at Friday’s graduation ceremony, Global Learning Coordinator at the Diamond Academy, Oarabile Hendrick explained this was because they couldn’t recruit due to the pandemic.

“We afford young Batswana an opportunity to come and learn how to sort and value diamonds and for them to comprehend the entire pipeline, starting from how diamonds have been found. We found a need and an appetite from the public to educate our Batswana since diamonds contribute a lot in our economy. In terms of their development, we do develop them along the industry line,” stated Hendrick.

The programme not only focuses on the technical skills as learners’ soft skills are also sharpened. Learners also get a unique chance to gain work experience, skills transfer and knowledge in Botswana’s diamond industry.

Since its inception in 2015, the programme has groomed and graduated 45 learners. To date, 92 percent of those have been absorbed into DeBeers (including all eight latest graduates) while the remaining 8 percent sought opportunities outside the company structures.

One of the eight graduates, Camile Gombalume sparkled with joy as she reflected on her graduation.

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“It was a very fulfilling journey and we finally got to the programme after a long recruitment process. The four months of training has been amazing and I’m very hopeful that the future looks bright since there are opportunities in the industry. I never imagined myself in this diamond industry because I studied finance and sports. However, with the current situation with unemployment, I signed up for this programme,” she said – and the rest is history!

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