By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK De Beers Marine Namibia last week awarded bursaries for studies in the fields of engineering, geology and environmental science to five Namibian students from various regions of the country. “Through our development programmes and a focused understudy programme we have managed to increase our Namibian workforce to 76% of the total workforce. That is remarkable when one takes into consideration that Namibians totalled only 18% of the workforce in 2002. We are committed to keeping this momentum going and achieve our goal of 90% by 2008 at a budget of around N$17 million per annum,” said De Beers Namibian managing director, Otto Shikongo, at the awards ceremony. Currently the company supports 13 bursaries and since it moved to Namibia in 2002 a total of 17 bursaries have been awarded to Namibian students. “Being the largest diamond miner in the country our national obligation towards human resource development has increased. We are focused on more than just our production and monetary targets. We support our people in achieving greatness in their careers, in being satisfied, happy and safe at work, and to achieve their full potential as individuals,” Shikongo said. In conclusion, Shikongo encouraged the bursaries beneficiaries to contribute through the bursaries to the total development of the country.
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