Diamond Miners Team with Botswana Gov't to Help Small Enterprises

Mining and Exploration
07/08/2017 14:55

The Botswana Government, through the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Anglo American, Debswana and De Beers Global Sightholder Sales to underpin the continued expansion of the Tokafala Enterprise Development program, according to a De Beers Group press release. The partnership to implement a 3-year program builds on Anglo American’s extensive experience and successes in enterprise development, tailored to the specific Botswana context. It is geared towards promoting economic diversification and job creation in Botswana through personalised business mentoring, advisory support and facilitating access to finance and market for clients. Tokafala aims to catalyze the growth of micro, small and medium companies (SMMEs) in Botswana.

The program has supported more than 1,500 jobs, including the direct creation of more than 280 jobs. Participants have also received significantly improved access to finance, with more than US$1 million (BWP11 million) being accessed from commercial sources. Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said: “A strong and vibrant business community benefits the whole of Botswana. Through the Tokafala program, and our strong partnership with Government, we are providing a pathway to enable motivated small and medium-sized businesses realise their growth potential and contribute to a strong and diversified economic future for Botswana.” Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “As longstanding partners, Botswana’s interests are also our interests and, through this MoU, our partnership will be able to support even more Botswana enterprises achieve commercial success through improved market access, supply chains and access to finance.” Balisi Bonyongo, Managing Director, Debswana, adds that part of the next phase of the program will focus on Debswana’s mining sites.