As I see it

Onneile Maripe, finance performance analyst at Debswana Diamond Company, on why she’s proud to be an ICAEW ambassador at One Young World 2019.

Financial institutions do not necessarily carry the risk appetite to fund innovative ideas generated by the younger generation. Businesses could act in a partnership role and become a vehicle of investment for young people’s businesses

I CHOSE TO DO an undergraduate degree in accounting, which I was nervous about but passed with flying colours. That was when I developed a passion for accounting.

I TRAINED TO BE a chartered accountant at Deloitte Botswana. I had the opportunity to be part of several audit teams in various industries including financial services, construction and mining. I would communicate with other auditors across borders and be involved in meetings with higher management. I learned a lot about collaboration and communication.

MY PROUDEST MOMENT will always be when I was confirmed as a chartered accountant in 2016. I also won a place to represent ICAEW as an ambassador at One Young World 2019. This is the first time Botswana has participated in this category and I am proud to be the first to represent the country.

THERE IS AN OPPORTUNITY for Debswana to build a strong and formal structure for citizen empowerment, to ensure locals benefit within the value chain of the business as it grows. We have established ourselves as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the best diamonds money can buy. Now we can ward off competition by developing the design and manufacture of synthetic diamonds. The ripple effect is job creation.

WITH MOUNTING PRESSURE on governments and corporations to cut down on greenhouse gases, it will be interesting to see which direction the mining industry goes in its efforts to go green. Another mammoth challenge is distinguishing synthetic diamonds from the real thing as they become easier to make.

THE MINING INDUSTRY is flourishing in Botswana , it plays a significant role in the economy by contributing up to a third of the country’s GDP and close to half its tax earnings. Mining accounts for around 80% of total exports in Botswana, which started in 1965. A lot of young people are involved in this as well as agriculture and developing apps and innovative business solutions.

This article was first published in November 2019 Economia, ICAEW