We focus on creating lasting socio-economic benefit for our partner countries, looking beyond simple cash investments to working in partnership and utilising our core business activities to deliver benefits to local communities.
Overall in 2016, we paid around US$1.2 billion in taxes and royalties. Of this, 95 per cent was spent in Africa.
In addition to the revenues generated by our mining operations, we contribute to and invest in producer country economies in a number of ways, not least employment of local people; enterprise development and social investment; preferential procurement from local and historically disadvantaged groups; and beneficiation. These activities help governments develop skills, businesses and infrastructure that can extend beyond the life of a mine.
Our enterprise development programmes, particularly Zimele in South Africa and Tokafala in Botswana, form an important part of our local business support.
Tokafala was started in 2014 as a three-year project partnership between the Government of Botswana, Debswana and De Beers. The businesses Tokafala has supported have shown an average 39 per cent growth in revenues.
In 2016, Zimele supported 69 jobs (3,054 since the programme began). Tokafala supported 574 in 2016 (2,097 since launch). Almost 32 per cent of the enterprises Zimele has helped are co-owned or owned by women, 38 per cent for Tokafala.
Perhaps the most significant method of keeping diamond wealth in the countries of production is our beneficiation programme.
This means we sell an agreed proportion of rough diamond production to Sightholders based in our producer countries, promoting in-country wealth creation and skills development by supporting diamond-related activities (the expansion of local diamond cutting and polishing, and jewellery manufacturing industries to increase participation in the value-adding steps of the diamond pipeline).