On 27 March, HB Antwerp officially opened the doors of HB Botswana, the company’s first branch outside Antwerp. During the inauguration ceremony, H.E. Dr. Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi, President of Botswana, announced a strategic partnership between the Government of Botswana and HB Antwerp whereby the Government will invest in HB by acquiring a 24% equity stake in HB Antwerp.
The RJC has announced the appointment of writer and journalist Melanie Grant as the new executive Director of the organization. After several changes in the 2022 fiscal year, Grant’s appointment to the position represents the 3rd of such occurrences in under 12 months.
On Tuesday, President Masisi of Botswana, the First Lady, and a large delegation including the country's Minister of Minerals and Energy Moagi and Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation Kwape visited the Antwerp diamond community.
The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the industry organization representing Antwerp’s 1600 diamond companies and service providers, has appointed David Gotlib as its new President, replacing outgoing President Chaim Pluczenik. The Board also appointed Sahag Arslanian and Amish Jain as Vice Presidents.
The Financial Times reports that the Angolan Government has blocked and taken over the 18% stake of the Chinese company LLI (part of Sonangol) in Catoca. The Government now holds 59% of shares in Angola’s largest mine through IGAPE, the state body managing govt shareholding in companies active in the country. The move is considered another step in President Lourenço’s reform policy, reducing the interdependence with China that was established under the Dos Santos regime, when deals between Angola and China, especially in the oil business, were booming.
Africa Intelligence reports that Botswana’s President Masisi, speaking at a gala dinner hosted by Lucara Diamonds, is adding pressure to the negotiations with De Beers on a renewed Debswana contract, the 50/50 joint venture between the government and De Beers. In the current agreement, 75 % of Debswana’s rough is sold via De Beers, 25% is sold via the state-owned Okavango Diamond Company, the latter achieving record sales revenue via its sales in Antwerp last year.