The summit, which ended Thursday, gathered leaders from DTC, Africa, and from business that marks the start of a new three-year contract and partnership between the DTC and its 78 clients.
The summit’s mission was to bring leaders to where the roots of the company lay, in the African soil, and to expose them to innovative approaches and thought leadership to serve as the catalyst for change and prosperity in the diamond industry.
The topics covered at the conference included economic and political developments in South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia; and trends in technology and economics.
Speakers included Russell Simmons, who spoke about the role individuals have in supporting humanitarian causes to positively impact the lives of others. The former president of the Republic of Botswana, Festus Mogae, spoke about the opportunities for foreign investment in Botswana and the importance of a cohesive partnership between the public and private sector to ensure a prosperous Africa.
“To maintain our position as the Worlds’ most effective distributor of rough diamonds it is important that we recognize and learn about the enormous opportunities that southern Africa offers to our clients. We hope that by hosting this event, for our clients and partners, that it demonstrates our commitment to this region as we move towards a more sustainable economy through beneficiation of diamonds,” said Varda Shine, DTC managing director.
“I believe passionately that the private sector is not just helpful but is an essential ingredient, together with good governance and the rule of law, to the building of a prosperous Africa,” added Gareth Penny, DeBeers Managing Director. “But it’s not just doing business that will make the difference, but how you do business that is the key.”
“The key to a prosperous Africa lays in the approaches to building sustainable economy. Fostering economic development rather than giving aid has proven to be the key to achieve economic growth,” said Nicky Oppenheimer, De Beers Group chairman. “Diamonds will continue to play an important role in the future of southern Africa. Good governance and transparency are the key elements for a successful economy and democracy and we believe that diamonds contributed to the transparency of government and business.”
The DTC’s Leaders in Africa group visited the Venetia Mine, where they learned first hand, the intricate operations of a diamond mine and were able to see the infrastructure.
“To understand what nature has put in the ground gives you an idea of the extraordinary worth of a diamond. Only then one can understand the value of a diamond,” said Johnny Velloza, Venetia mine manager.
To address the environmental impact of the attendee’s carbon footprint, as they travelled to South Africa, the DTC partnered with Food & Trees for Africa to voluntarily offset the carbon footprint. As a result, 320 trees were planted in the area of Venetia.