Okavango Diamond signs MoU with DMCC, Dubai ‘s top trade centre
Okavango Diamond Company(ODC) , Botswana Government whole owned diamond marketing and sales outfit has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) in a move that will see ODC have more access to Dubai and UAE diamond auctions, displaying the highly sought after and magnificent Botswana natural diamonds.
ODC which boasts of being the largest source of guaranteed Botswana natural diamonds in the market said in a press statement this week that the MoU will see the two entities work closely together to promote the diamond industries in Botswana and the UAE, and most importantly support the sustainable development agenda of the industry.
The MoU was signed by Mr Mmetla Masire, Managing Director of ODC and Feryal Ahmadi, Chief Operating Officer of DMCC. The signing ceremony took place at Almas Tower, DMCC, in the presence of His Excellency Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, the President of the Republic of Botswana, along with an accompanying delegation of Ministers and senior DMCC executives.
DMCC – the world’s flagship Free Zone and Government of Dubai Authority on commodities trade and enterprise will host many ODC diamond auctions and viewings at the Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE). The first auction is taking place this week, from 14 – 19 March 2022.
DMCC and ODC have agreed to work together to advance the diamond industry in both the UAE and Botswana. Both parties will exchange information, analytical materials, and forecasts on the prospects for the development of the global diamond market, while also supporting each other on all aspects relating to the application of the Kimberly Process.
The UAE and Botswana have long standing diplomatic and bilateral relations across various sectors. The past ten years have witnessed a rapid increase in trade volume between the UAE and Botswana, with non-oil bilateral trade reaching around $1.3 billion in 2020, compared to just $4.2 million in 2010.
Mmetla Masire, Managing Director of Okavango Diamond Company ODC, hailed the MoU as a massive move unlock unparalleled value of Botswana ‘s diamond industry.
” It is a great honour to be here in Dubai accompanying His Excellency President Mokgweetsi Masisi and H.E. Lefoko Maxwell Moagi, Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology & Energy Security, and to be hosted by DMCC, one of the most important institutions in the global diamond industry. I am thrilled that we are strengthening our relationship with DMCC and I am looking forward to working together to support the growth of our respective businesses, and to sharing our knowledge and expertise.”
For his part Feryal Ahmadi, Chief Operating Officer, of DMCC, said: “I was delighted to welcome President Mokgweetsi Masisi to DMCC, and I look forward to working with the Okavango Diamond Company to promote the development of the global diamond industry. This partnership comes on the back of Dubai being announced as the largest trade hub for rough diamond in the world, which is a testament to its attractiveness as a business partner and a trade gateway to the world. As one of the world’s largest producers of diamonds, Botswana is a key market for DMCC and its members, and I look forward to a fruitful partnership with the Okavango Diamond Company.”
In October 2021 Okavango Diamond Company held its auction sale in Dubai earning US$110 million (about P1.1 billion). The October 2021 online spot auction coincided with the company’s participation at the world-acclaimed EXPO 2020 Dubai.
Prior to the October sale, ODC’s September Spot Auction sale generated US$123 million. The September 2021 sale to date represents the largest one-day Diamond Auction sale ever conducted for rough natural diamonds.
The DDE and DMCC strategically located inthe centre and near some of the world largest diamond trading, cutting and polishing centre, 3 hour flight from Suret India, the world largest diamond cutting and polishing hub aswell as Tel Aviv Israel, housing Jewish money ready to spend big on diamonds.
Okavango Diamond was established in 2012 as a wholly state owned diamond marketing and sales company to sell Botswana Diamond outside De Beers price book and channels, operations started in 2013. The company buys 25 percent of Debswana rough production for resale.
On 6th December 2021, ODC Managing Director Mmetla Masire hinted the company ‘s expansion plans.
He said ODC had proven beyond reasonable doubt over the years, even during the turbulent times of COVID pandemic that it is a key player inthe global diamond business.
“Currently we depend on a single supply source, which is Debswana production through Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) channel, but we are saying looking at the expansion of our facilities , and offices, we think we have capacity to handle more diamonds from other suppliers, not just Debswana.” he said
The ODC Chief explained that the company is positioning itself to be a major regional and global player inthe natural diamond marketing and sales space” We can offer ourself as a platform in terms of capacity that can handle more diamonds than what we getting from Debswana, we are ready and willing”
He said part of ODC strategy is to see how the company can attract other producers countries and companies.