14 February 2022
Diamond Industry Pioneer HB Antwerp Signs Long-Term MOU with Botswana International University of Science and Technology
Partners Will Collaborate to Foster Next Generation of Talent in Botswana
HB Antwerp, the entrepreneurial natural diamond start-up, has signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding with the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) to establish a new partnership aimed at fostering the next generation of talent in Botswana, where HB Antwerp works with the local diamond industry.
Together, HB Antwerp and the university will organize traineeships for Botswanan youth, offer scholarships for promising local talent, drive innovative projects backed by digital supply chains, and create job opportunities in the diamond sector, helping to transform Botswana to a modern and technology-driven diamond manufacturing country. The program will also enable a valuable exchange of knowledge between Belgium and Botswana, honoring the traditional artistry of stone polishing and cutting that Belgium is known for while identifying and implementing innovative approaches to diamond manufacturing.
“HB Antwerp is delighted to collaborate with the Botswana International University of Science and Technology and build on our efforts to provide training and job placement for local talent in the communities where we operate. Young people in Africa have incredible potential, but often do not have access to meaningful opportunities. We believe in the power of diamonds to catalyze positive change and look forward to leveraging this partnership to deliver on that potential for the Botswanan people,” said Rafael Papismedov, Managing Partner and Strategy Director of HB Antwerp.
For his part the Vice Chancellor of BIUST, Professor Otlogetswe Totolo also expressed his excitement at the prospect of working with HB Antwerp under the partnership. “BIUST is always open to partnerships that provide opportunities for young Batswana to develop both their common and transferable skills needed for industrial and manufacturing advancement of our economy. It is my belief that the partnership will greatly contribute to the human capital development of our country through new technological and innovative ideas that we expect to harness from this collaboration.”
At the core of HB Antwerp’s business model is a belief that the origin story of a stone is deeply linked to the community where it was discovered. HB Antwerp has fostered an ecosystem that ensures respect for local communities, promotes fair labor and pay, and invests in skills training and job placement opportunities for local workers. HB Antwerp is committed to driving sustainable economic development in Botswana and throughout the African continent.
As a University, BIUST supports the long-standing principle of the Government of Botswana that says that diamonds are for national development. It is therefore only natural for the University to embrace a partnership that directly speaks to skills development; technological advancement; sustainable economic growth and job creation. BIUST continues to be one of the leading national drivers in initiatives that are aimed at aiding economic development and transformation in Botswana.
About HB Antwerp
HB Antwerp is a diamond company based in Antwerp focused on technology driven sourcing, analyzing, cutting and polishing of diamonds. HB is applying an innovative methodology designed to simplify the complexities and challenges of the global diamond supply chain and enhance transparency. HB Antwerp authenticates each stage of its value chain using its own unique blockchain and traceability proprietary technologies.
About Botswana International University of Science and Technology
The Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) is a Government of Botswana supported institution established through the BIUST Act (CAP 57:05) as a research-intensive University that specialises in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) at both undergraduate and post-graduate level. It aims to increase competitiveness, economic growth and sustainable development; address the shortage of skilled scientists and technologists; increase movement of skilled people across national boundaries; stimulate research, innovation, and technology transfer; improve society’s aspirations to improve health, wealth and well-being; address increased demand for access to tertiary education; and enable a more competitive and innovative tertiary education sector.