De Beers Group and United Nations (UN) Women, in collaboration with Botswana’s Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, today announced a $758,000 (BWP8 million), three-year investment in capacity-building programmes to support women micro-entrepreneurs in select villages in the Okavango Delta and Kweneng District, the company stated in press release. The announcement was made at today’s W Summit in Gaborone, convened by De Beers, which focuses on the advancement of women business leaders in Botswana and southern Africa.
The Okavango Delta and Kweneng District are some of the poorest and most remote areas of Botswana and were selected as the initial focus due to the strong potential to deliver tangible, positive outcomes that support entire communities through the increased economic empowerment of women micro-entrepreneurs. Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “Botswana has achieved a huge amount of development through prudent use of diamond revenues, but challenges remain and programmes such as these can have a real and lasting positive impact. Advancing women’s economic empowerment in two of the most disadvantaged areas of Botswana will not only support the women micro-entrepreneurs that participate in the programmes, but also their communities through increased employment opportunities and skills development.”
The programmes are part of De Beers’ three year global partnership with UN Women and its commitment to stand with women around the world. De Beers is investing US$3 million to advance women micro-entrepreneurs and STEM students in its diamond producing countries of Canada, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.