HB Antwerp Opens Landmark Facility in Botswana and embarks on a groundbreaking partnership with the Government of Botswana.
Gaborone, Botswana – 27 March 2023 – On 27 March, HB Antwerp officially opened the doors of HB Botswana, the company’s first branch outside Antwerp. 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 fulfills the company’s promise to bring its cutting-edge, proprietary technologies to Botswana, supporting the country’s transformation into a diamond knowledge center. Located at the Diamond Technology Park in Gaborone, the facility is closely modeled on its Antwerp operations.
“The HB Botswana facility in Botswana is the realization of close collaboration and partnership between the Government of the Republic of Botswana and HB Antwerp,” said President Masisi, at today’s Inauguration event. He added, “We are forging a brighter future for the next generation of Batswana, taking unprecedented ownership over our natural resources to realize their potential for our nation’s sustainable development.”
“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 recognize value where others have overlooked it,” said Rafael Papismedov, Co-founder of HB Antwerp.
At the event, President Masisi 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, according to the terms of an agreed deal to be signed in the coming weeks.
“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.
About HB Antwerp
Founded in 2020, HB Antwerp is pioneering a mineral infrastructure that redefines the way minerals are sourced, transformed, and distributed. HB’s closed-loop ecosystem introduces a comprehensive digital trail across the complete value chain, from raw minerals to finished results, ensuring verifiable and immutable data.