MASERU — Taxes from the diamond industry could provide funding for the building of hospitals, educational scholarships and the provision of other basic needs for the nation, Prime Minister Thomas Thabane said on Friday
He was speaking at the Lesotho Diamond Academy’s first ever graduation ceremony where 58 graduates were awarded certificates.
Graduating students successfully completed a year long course in diamond cutting and polishing at the Basotho owned institution.
Thabane urged the graduates to work and enhance the welfare of the nation saying the nation can benefit vastly from the diamond industry through taxes and job creation.
“Our wealth and wellbeing is in our hands, so continue to work hard and be careful not to fall in the trap of corruption which is usually rife in diamond dealings,” Thabane said.
Lesotho Diamond Academy which trains students in gemology (the study of natural or artificial gems), diamond evaluation, cutting, polishing and illustration, is affiliated with the Harry Openheimer School of Diamonds — an internationally recognised institution.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Education and Training ’Makabelo Mosothoane said the academy is registered and recognised by the Ministry of Education as a technical and vocational training institute.
“This facility provides the skills needed in the mining sector and it is my wish to see it continue to strive for excellence,” she said.
Mosothoane applauded the Lesotho Diamond Academy chief executive officer, Michael Molefe, for his role in facilitating the training and equipping students with skills and challenged members of the private sector to become more involved in education and training beyond just providing employment and absorbing graduates.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony Molefe said it was a great milestone for the academy to host its very first graduation ceremony.
He commended the graduates for having persevered and successfully completed the diamond cutting and polishing course and urged them to use the skills gained to be job creators and not jobseekers.
“You did not retreat or surrender, you made it and now have the ability to bring technical and academic expertise to the mining sphere,” said Molefe.
Also present at the event were Member of Parliament Vincent Moeketse Malebo, Deputy Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force Paul Motšomotšo and representatives from the ministries of education and mining.
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