H.E. the President Officially Opens the Inaugural FACETS 2022 Diamond Conference

Antwerp, 13th September 2022: This morning, the President of the Republic of Botswana, His Excellency Dr. Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi delivered an opening address virtually at the inaugural Facets 2022: “Diamonds in the Age of the Consumer” Conference, held from 14th to 15th September 2022 in Antwerp, Belgium.

The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Belgium, His Excellency, Mr. Alexander de Croo, delivered a Keynote address.

Other dignitaries are the Minister of Minerals and Energy of the Republic of Botswana, Honourable Mr. Lefoko M. Moagi, Ministers of Mines and Minerals from Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Tanzania, as well as, the Advisor to the President of Namibia, the Mayor of Antwerp, Mr. Bart De Wever, the Governor of Antwerp, Ms. Cathy Berx, the President of the AWDC, Mr. Ari Epstein, the CEO of the Natural Diamond Council (NDC), Mr. David Kellie, among others.

In his address, His Excellency the President congratulated the AWDC for the initiative to bring together governments, miners, midstream traders, and retailers to engage on challenges and opportunities and position the global diamond industry to play a pivotal role in fostering sustainable economic growth and prosperity. He affirmed his support for the creation of this inclusive and progressive dialogue in an industry that drives many economies and improves the living standards of people globally. Diamonds are the main pillar of Botswana’s economy and are a key driver of the national development agenda. For this reason, His Excellency the President supported the theme for the Conference, “Diamonds in the Age of the Consumer”.

The Minister of Minerals and Energy, Honourable Lefoko M. Moagi, also participated in the Conference, in-person, in Antwerp. He will participate in an hour-long face-to-face conversation with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DeBeers, Mr. Bruce Cleaver. The conversation focused on current events and trends impacting the diamond industry and what this means for diamond-producing countries like Botswana. The two discussed the trajectory of the relationship between Botswana and Debeers and highlighted the successes, the challenges, and the opportunities for the partnership, including how the knowledge and experience can be shared with other countries desiring to adopt the model.

Three Panels were convened on “Building Sustainable Diamond Economies – the role that diamond-producing countries can play in connecting the new consumer”, “Trust in the age of the consumer – how the industry can innovate to build more trust with the consumer”, and “Building Bridges – with all stakeholders in the diamond industry”.

The second day of the Conference is dedicated to youth pitching their business ideas to a panel of diamond, luxury and innovation experts. The winner of the contest will have the opportunity to receive expert feedback and advice from key industry leaders and win a cash price.

The Conference was officially closed by the Mayor of Antwerp, Mr. Bart de Weber.