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UN, De Beers Look to Empower Botswana Women

Nov 9, 2017 7:04 AM   By Rapaport News
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De Beers and United Nations Women have pledged approximately $755,000 (BWP 8 million) over the next three years to support women entrepreneurs in select villages in Botswana’s Okavango Delta and Kweneng District.

The initiative, which will launch in early 2018, includes programs to train women in business management skills, give them the knowledge to access markets, and equip them with marketing and technical capabilities, especially in agriculture, De Beers explained on Thursday.

The move is part of the diamond producer’s plan to invest $3 million in advancing women micro-entrepreneurs and students in the countries where it mines — Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa.

“Botswana has achieved a huge amount of development through prudent use of diamond revenues, but challenges remain, and programs such as these can have a real and lasting positive impact,” said De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver.

The company and UN Women will work with Adore Little Children Botswana, an NGO in the Okavango Delta, to improve the livelihoods of villagers through a program that produces fresh vegetables for local communities. In the Kweneng District, they will work with local partners to advance existing micro-enterprises such as leatherworks, pottery and livestock businesses, as well as to identify and develop opportunities for new ones.

“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 program, but also their communities through increased employment opportunities and skills development,” Cleaver asserted.

De Beers announced the venture at its “W Summit” conference in Gaborone on Thursday, which focused on the advancement of women business leaders in Botswana and southern Africa.

Image: Shutterstock, Lucian Coman
Tags: Botswana, De Beers, Okavango Delta, Rapaport News, UN Women, United Nations
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