New York, NY, October 2 2012 – The Diamond Empowerment Fund yesterday presented a $75,000 check to the Botswana Delegation to the United Nations, as a donation to the Botswana Top Achievers Program, which affords top students in the diamond-producing nation an opportunity to attend the university of their choice worldwide. Upon graduation, they then return to Botswana to contribute to its future.
The $75,000 was the result of funds raised at the June ‘Salute to Botswana, Diamonds Empower Africa’ event held in Washington, D.C. co-hosted by DEF and the Embassy of the Republic of Botswana. Phyllis Bergman, DEF board president, reaffirmed the importance of the event.
“Botswana is a shining example of the positive impact diamonds have on communities when good governance is coupled with wise management of natural resources. Not only does Botswana manage is natural resources well, it also embraces its most important natural resource, its youth, through the Top Achiever Program. This mirrors the mission of DEF and we are thrilled to contribute to this amazing program.”
High level members from the Botswana delegaton receiving the check at Monday’s presentation included Botswana Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Phandu Skelemani and his wife; Ambassador of the Republic of Botswana to the United States, Tebelelo Seretse; Permanent Representative of the Republic of Botswana to the United Nations, Charles Ntwaagae, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director of Multilateral Affairs, Thomas Dipue. Members of DEF’s board of directors, as well as representatives from Tiffany & Co., the lead sponsor for the ‘Salute to Botswana’ event, presented the check to the delegation during the ceremony. Sponsors of the event included board members Leo Schachter Diamonds, Signet, Dalumi Group/Swana Diamonds and also included Exelco and Julius Klein.
In accepting the check, the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs emphasized the importance of education and of “using this tool of education to empower Botswana’s youth to become the next leaders in our country, able to drive economic diversification and growth that will benefit all. We thank the Diamond Empowerment Fund for this most generous donation, which together with past donations amounts to $225,000.”
Ambassador Seretse who spearheaded the July event at the Botswana Embassy in Washington DC commended the partnership between Diamond Empowerment Fund and Botswana by adding “The donation illustrates the good that diamonds do, the excellent relationship between DEF and Botswana and compliance to the Botswana Vision 2016 pillar of an educated and informed nation. The partnership must grow to show how development diamonds have made Botswana what it is today.”