- Says industry has grown from 16 factories in 2008 to 33 today
- Beneficiation jobs have grown from 2 200 to 3 200 over the last three years
- 450 work for KGK while 50 more jobs are expected in its jewellery making facility
The diamond cutting and polishing industry in Botswana – which is one of the value chains of the country’s flourishing mining industry – has experienced significant growth over the years, President Mokgweetsi Masisi has said.
Speaking at the inauguration of KGK Diamonds Botswana in Gaborone recently, President Masisi said the industry has grown from 16 factories licensed when Botswana started advocating for beneficiation of the diamond mining industry in 2008 to 33 factories currently operational with employment in the sector increasing in the last three years from 2 200 people to 3 200.
He applauded KGK Diamonds, which is a diamond cutting and polishing factory based in Gaborone, for its beneficiation initiatives, saying they will help strengthen Botswana’s diamonds trade environment. “KGK Diamonds has demonstrated the attributes of an outstanding economic driver in this country, choosing to pursue a green economy path in its core business practices across the globe,” said the President. “Therefore, I am happy to be part of this momentous occasion to appreciate the beauty and excellence of your diamond factory, which demonstrates sustainability through its design and operation.”
He noted the importance of value chains in deepening Botswana’s economic diversification in the country, saying his government has decided to add value to all its natural resources – including diamonds – which will in turn increase the contribution of the mineral sector to Botswana’s GDP.
President Masisi added that the inauguration of KGK Diamonds is occurring at the right moment when the country has been selected to host the Kimberley Process Permanent Secretariat, a development that he said will position Botswana at the very heart of the governance and ecologically-friendly development of the global diamond industry.
“KGK Diamonds Botswana has proven itself to be a responsible stakeholder in nurturing the diamond industry,” he said. Its state-of-the-art jewellery manufacturing facility will continue to bolster Botswana’s profile as a leader in the global diamond industry.” The company created employment for 450 people in the diamond sector to-date and 400 diamond polishers trained through the KGK Academy over the past three years. An additional 50 jobs are expected in the company’s jewellery manufacturing facility.
Regarding the company’s vision for Botswana, the Managing Director of the KGK Group, Sandeep Kothari, said since it first established its operations in the country in 2014, the company has invested over P150 million in beneficiation of natural diamonds. “We first established operations here in Botswana in 2014 with 30 employees,” Kothari said. “Today our KGK Family has grown to over 500 members. All of them are comprehensively trained in-house.”
He expressed gratitude to various ministries and their departments for providing a business environment conducive to growth and provided the company with the necessary confidence and stability to make long-term investments in Botswana. Kothari emphasised KGK Diamonds’ commitment to joining forces with the Botswana Government for building a sustainable, responsible, inclusive and financially-viable diamond and jewellery industry in the country.