Gaborone — Debswana and Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly work together on developing future skills in sciences, engineering, technology and innovation.
The signing of the MoU is aimed at meeting the demands of an ever-changing world and the challenges of the future.
Signing the MoU at Debswana headquarters on Thursday, Debswana managing director, Mr Balisi Bonyongo said Debswana employed 11 000 people, 5 000 of which were direct staff and the rest on contractors.
He said Debswana still faced shortage of critical skills, noting that the company had re-introduced the coveted Debswana Scholarship Programme to partially address the gap.
"To date, we have 50 students across the globe studying in various technical fields that we require as a company. The MoU complements Debswana skills development efforts," he said.
Mr Bonyongo said it was heartening that some of the key areas identified were research and development, curriculum and human resource development.
"I trust the signing of this MoU will serve as a contributing factor in the exchange of information and sharing of technical development in the mining sector,' said Mr Bonyongo.
Furthermore, Debswana managing director said their key expectations as the company was that BUIST would put in place robust physical infrastructure and human capital to ensure high standards of training and development to deliver globally competitive individuals.
On behalf of BIUST, Professor Otlogetswe Totolo said Debswana as a unique partnership between the government of Botswana and De Beers Group of Companies had a primary objective of diamond mining and associated processes.
Both BIUST and Debswana intend to leapfrog Botswana to a knowledge-based nation with products and services that make life better for Batswana and contribute to the nation's wealth and wellbeing, he said.
Professor Totolo said, "BUIST and Debswana complement one another.
Our synergies are our strengths, and our collaboration is our reason for the huge investment that our people have made in us.
The MoU cements the collaboration that both BIUST and Debswana seek to have."
He said through MoU, the two partners would be collaborating in coarse tailings and fine residue depositaries, Geochemical Studies, Water and Slurry/Slimes testing, Mining Processes, Research on activities of common interest, Metallurgical Processes and De Beers Technologies on Diamond Recovery Systems.
Source : BOPA