Producers of one of Southern Africa's most precious stones, De Beers Group invests millions to equip the youth.

De Beers is responding to the needs of society by putting in R6million into an enterprise development program for diamond beneficiators. This opens small businesses into the diamond sector value chain. Added to that, in its 20th year, the annual Shining Light Awards: The De Beers Young Diamond Jewellery Awards for 2016/17 has opened. With this year’s theme ‘Protecting Nature’s Beauty’, this award will propel the development of the winning students with skills in design, manufacturing, sales and marketing. Entries are open to South Africa, Namibia and Botswana which have producer companies for De Beers Group in Southern Africa. 
There’s a lot that can be drawn from this investment, one of which is responding to the job needs within our region and truly giving creatives a space for the application of their thoughts and ideas. 
"It’s crucial for young people to receive a helping hand in this industry and these awards serve as a great platform to express their creativity and launch their careers in the industry" said Mpumi Zikalala, Senior Vice President, De Beers Sightholder Sales South Africa. 
This has also been an opportunity for the young to see the world. Previous winners experienced guidance and training from De Beers jewellery centre, Forevermark INC in Milan, working with high calibre artisans while learning to design commercially and trade globally. 
Pat Dambe, Vice President Corporate Affairs and Government Relations, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales added:
"The awards have grown significantly and in the last eight years Botswana and Namibia have seen themselves become participants. The 2016/17 host for the Shining Light Awards is Namibia."
As the competition opens for the young designers who are challenged with a brief underscored by ethics, in truly caring for natural resources, their creativity will certainly be stretched, to create an outstanding jewellery collection using Forevermark diamonds. 
“Forevermark is proud to support the Shining Light Award, nurturing talent and developing the creativity of the new generation growing up in the countries from where our most beautiful diamonds come from,” says Stephen Lussier, Executive Vice President: Marketing, External & Corporate Affairs, Forevermark INC.
Entries close November 25, find out more here