12 December 2011
The Managing Director of Debswana, Mr Jim Gowans has called on members of the Botswana Association of Tribal Land Authorities (BATLA) to delicately balance the sustainable management of land, which is finite resource, with playing a facilitative land allocation role in order to attract and retain investors.
Addressing the BATLA biennial Conference on 11 October 2011 in Francistown, Mr Gowans called on Land Boards to actively support government’s efforts to diversify the economy by availing land expeditiously. “Failure to be adept at what you do would result in the country losing investment opportunities to the next country”, said Gowans. He said the conference held under the theme: “Transformation of Tribal Land Administration: Towards Global Economic Competitiveness” had come at an opportune time as it focuses debate on Botswana’s declining competitiveness ratings. He expressed the hope that the resolutions and proposals to be adopted at the conference would contribute to the improvement of the country’s global rankings through improved competitiveness.
Mr Gowans said Debswana continues to play a major role in the economy of Botswana and contributes to economic diversification through initiatives such as Peo Venture Capital, a partnership with De Beers Botswana Holdings through which 45 businesses have been funded to the tune of P30.2 million (loans and equity) over the past 11 years, and created 1223 jobs. He further said Debswana has also partnered with De Beers through the Diamond Trust to launch the P10 million Tsodilo Hills World Heritage Site Project which aims at creating sustainable tourism opportunities for the people of the Tsodilo area over a period of five years. Mr Gowans, who is a patron of BATLA donated P30 000 (Thirty Thousand Pula) as Debswana’s financial support towards the 2011 BATLA Conference.
Esther V. Kanaimba – Senai (Mrs)
Group Manager, Public and Corporate Affairs
Debswana Diamond Company
Tel: +267 3614 303