The Government of the Republic of Botswana has signed an agreement with diamond mining company De Beers which sees the latter fund the purchasing of half a million Covid-19 vaccines for the country.

The venture is also funded by Debswana and the Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTC Botswana).

Both companies are jointly owned by De Beers Group and the Botswanan government.

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The purchase of the 500,000 Moderna vaccine doses was supported by a financial pledge by the three companies back in June 2021.

De Beers Group, Debswana and DTCB’s financial contribution has funded 40 per cent of the cost of the vaccines, a press release revealed.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group, said: “The Covid-19 Delta variant has increased the challenges being experienced around the globe and we are committed to standing shoulder to shoulder with our partners in Botswana both to address urgent needs, and step-up to support the nation’s longer-term recovery.

“De Beers’ belief in Botswana, its people and their future, remain unshakable.

“We are pleased to have been able to play a role in supporting government with its vaccine procurement and rollout plan during this challenging period due to low global availability of doses at a time of great need.

“Partnership has always been at the heart of De Beers relationship with the people of Botswana, and it is more important now than ever before.”

Edwin Dikoloti, Minister of Health and Wellness in the country, extended his thanks to the companies for their support.