De Beers empowers women entrepreneurs in Botswana

Gaborone, Botswana (PANA) - International Diamond Company, De Beers, has announced a three-year investment scheme in capacity-building to support women micro-entrepreneurs in selected Botswana villages.

De Beers announced on Thursday in the capital Gaborone that the scheme will be rolled out in partnership with United Nations Women and the government of Botswana.

In the Okavango Delta, in partnership with Adore Little Children Botswana (ALCB), a non-governmental organisation, UN Women, Debswana and government will provide economic empowerment support to women in Ngarange village.

ALCB’s existing women’s economic empowerment programme focuses on improving livelihoods through permaculture programmes that produce fresh vegetables for local communities.

In Kweneng District villages close to the capital Gaborone, De Beers and UN Women will work with local partners to advance existing micro-enterprises that include leatherworks, pottery and livestock businesses, as well as identifying and developing opportunities for new small, medium and micro-enterprises.

Slated to kick off early next year, the project will equip women micro-entrepreneurs in the target regions with business management skills, an understanding of access to markets and marketing, and technical skills, especially in agricultural activities.

In addition, the programmes will help build life skills and confidence to support effective decision-making, communication and negotiation.

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.

“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,” said Bruce Cleaver, Chief Executive Officer of De Beers Group.

Anne Githuku-Shongwe, Representative of UN Women South Africa Multi-Country Office, said the initiative is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030 to ‘Leave No One Behind’, targeting one of the most marginalised communities in Botswana.

The project aims to invest in women’s economic empowerment and create long term sustainability for families in this region.

De Beers and UN Women are working with local stakeholders in the target areas to finalise the implementation approach.

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.
-0- PANA DRW/MA 9Nov2017

09 november 2017 12:04:46




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