Shining Light Awards contribute to local skills development

by Staff Reporter

Shining Light Awards contribute to local skills development

Windhoek

The Namibia Diamond Trading Company’s (NDTC’s) role within the diamond industry is to make diamonds available for sale in Namibia for local manufacturing. In so doing, NDTC supports government’s economic agenda by helping drive beneficiation, value creation and job creation from the country’s diamond resources.

“We remain committed to actively raising the quality of life for our citizens. We want all Namibians, regardless of race, creed or circumstance to achieve their full potential,” said Shihaleni Ndjaba, NDTC’s CEO, at the recent launch of the De Beers Group of Companies’ 2016 Shining Light Awards.



This year’s awards, which are aimed at young diamond jewellery designers, take place under the theme ‘Protecting Nature’s Beauty’. The theme is a poignant reminder of the need to take care of the world’s finite natural resources, including diamonds. Open to all aspiring jewellery design students across Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, finalists receive valuable business development skills in the areas of jewellery design, manufacturing, sales and marketing.

Paul Rowley, Executive Vice President, and De Beers Global Siteholder Sales, said: “We are privileged to play an important part in turning the dreams of students from our producer countries into a lasting reality, especially in this instance where we are empowering them to add value to a natural resource.”

“As host country, Namibia has been involved in the Shining Light Awards since 2008 and is looking forward to hosting the awards this year and into 2017. The awards are also perfectly positioned to support the Harambee Prosperity Plan’s pillars on improving vocational training, as well as youth development and skills development, recently announced by the Namibian Government,” said Brent Eiseb, Senior Manager, Sales and Marketing at NDTC.

“The awards have grown and developed significantly over the past 20 years, with previous winners having had the opportunity to spend time in Milan at one of De Beers’ design centres, and work with the finest trade artisans in the world,” said Pat Dambe, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Government Relations for De Beers Global Siteholder Sales.

Constantino Papadimitriou, Head of Brand Strategy and Innovation, Forevermark, said: “We are so proud to contribute to the development of local talent and design skills in diamond producing countries. The Shining Light Awards really challenge students to translate a brief, from an idea, and transform it into a jewellery collection with a Forevermark diamond at its heart.”

In past years, the competition has been widely regarded as a gateway for young designers to gain access to the global diamond jewellery market. Last year’s brief moved young designers away from the more elaborate diamond pieces created in the past to commercially-viable pieces.

Stephen Lussier, Executive Vice President, Marketing, De Beers and CEO, Forevermark, said: “Forevermark is proud to support the Shining Light Awards, nurturing talent and developing the creativity of the new generation growing up in the countries from where our most beautiful diamonds come from.”

De Beers continues to contribute towards skills development for the youth and opening opportunities within the diamond value chain. In the last two weeks, De Beers Siteholder Sales South Africa announced a R6 million enterprise development project for diamond beneficiators. In Botswana, Barclays Bank announced a US$125 million credit guarantee agreement with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) for the diamond and manufacturing industry.

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