Botswana Govt. To Acquire 24% Stake In HB Antwerp

Apr 03, 2023

HB Antwerp officially opened the doors of HB Botswana, the company’s first branch outside Antwerp, on 27th March. During the inauguration ceremony, Dr. Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi, President of Botswana, announced a strategic partnership between the Government of Botswana and HB Antwerp whereby the Government will invest in HB by acquiring a 24% equity stake in HB Antwerp. The key commercial terms of the deal have been agreed and the parties intend to sign definitive contracts in the coming weeks.

The opening of HB Botswana fulfils the company’s promise to bring its cutting-edge, proprietary technologies to Botswana, supporting the country’s transformation into a diamond knowledge centre. Located at the Diamond Technology Park in Gaborone, the facility is closely modelled on its Antwerp operations.

President Masisi said, “The HB Botswana facility in Botswana is the realisation of close collaboration and partnership between the Government of the Republic of Botswana and HB Antwerp. We are forging a brighter future for the next generation of Batswana, taking unprecedented ownership over our natural resources to realise their potential for our nation’s sustainable development.”

Rafael Papismedov, Co-founder of HB Antwerp, added, “Our success has come – and will continue to come – from our fearless willingness to challenge every aspect of the way things have been done to date and to recognise value where others have overlooked it.”

“Today is the dawn of a new era in Botswana’s diamond story as we begin this journey with HB Antwerp. This partnership has the potential to be a game-changer,” said Masisi.

In an additional aspect of the strategic partnership, Masisi added that the Government of Botswana, through its rough diamond trading company, Okavango Diamond Company (ODC), will supply rough diamonds to HB Botswana, HB Antwerp’s local subsidiary, for five years, with all the value-add to take place in Botswana.

For Botswana, the strategic partnership enables the country to achieve several development priorities: active participation in the high-margin midstream and downstream segments of the diamond value chain, additional value from selling diamonds based on polished price rather than rough price, beneficiation of diamonds in Botswana, development of the most highly valued skills in the diamond sector with young Batswana taking leadership positions, ownership of proprietary technology, and the marketing of Botswana to the world through diamond provenance.

During the inauguration, HB also announced it will open a significantly larger, more advanced facility at the Botswana Innovation Hub, scaling the company’s impact by as much as ten times.

The Hub is an architectural marvel, constructed with the most cutting-edge green technology available and houses a wide range of initiatives in technology incubation, education, and scientific research.

HB Botswana will be led by locals and will strive to maintain gender parity among its employees. The HB Academy, an internal training institute, will teach future HB team members all the technical skills needed to operate this high-tech facility. HB aims to grow its Botswana presence to 485 employees by 2026 and further position the company as the employer of choice in Botswana.

You May Also Like