Connect with us


Lesotho Diamond Academy re-launched



MASERU – THE Lesotho Diamond Academy was re-launched on Tuesday after a 10-year hiatus.
The academy shut its doors in 2012 after only two years of operation with most students pulling out due to lack of funding by the government.

Speaking at the re-launch, the academy’s CEO, Relebohile Molefe, said they had enrolled 100 students by the time they were forced to close shop in 2012.
“Although it has been a rough path, we managed to re-launch the school again through the support from the Ministry of Mining,” Molefe said.

The Minister of Mining, Serialong Qoo, said for years foreign-owned companies had benefited immensely from mining diamonds in Lesotho but giving too little to Basotho.
“As we are re launching this academy we are declaring war against people who have benefited from the diamonds of Basotho while Basotho were earning very little,” Qoo said.

Mining companies just dig up the diamonds and export them to Antwerp, Belgium, as raw as they are, which limits Basotho’s role to just digging.
Qoo’s concern is that there is no beneficiating taking place to enhance Lesotho’s economy and create jobs.

He said through the collaboration with the responsible parliamentary committee, they will fully support the academy.
“This has been our long-term dream with the late Mpalipali Molefe who is the founder of this academy to spur the economy of Lesotho through the mining industry,” he said.
He said the Ministry of Mining is “ready to set the platforms which will allow Basotho to participate in the diamond business”.

The minister applauded Molefe’s family for the good and brave work they have done over the years.
He said they should get the licence to extract all the stones they identified as valuable products.

The Chairman of the Parliamentary Natural Resources Committee, Kimetso Mathaba, applauded the management for resuscitating the academy.
Mathaba said political turmoil in the country led to the closing of the academy which spoiled the vision of the founder to promote knowledge and skills in diamond works.
Mathaba applauded the minister of mining who realised the special role the academy could play in the development of Lesotho.

“The academy will help in eradicating poverty and creating employment,” Mathaba said.
“However, our government is failing to support us in our skills so that we can create jobs for Basotho,” he said.

“We still have a long journey to take to ensure that the diamonds before being sold outside the country pass through the academy.”
He said the diamond industry has impacted most countries’ economies positively because they were able to manage their resources.

“Our diamonds are depleting. About 90 percent has gone and still the management of this industry is poor,” he said.
“I strongly believe that the industry will improve.”

Refiloe Mpobole

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Copyright © 2022. The Post Newspaper. All Rights Reserved