Young tech-giants set to disrupt diamond industry

The early recruits of the newly-set up diamond technology company, HB Botswana, who are currently training at the HB Antwerp Lab in Belgium are all fired up and raring to return to their native country to share their skills. Three of the 15 pioneers of the Diamond Technology Park –based company spoke exclusively to Botswana Guardian via a Teams call Wednesday afternoon from Belgium.

Tlotlego Motsomi (25), is a Bachelor of engineering graduate from the University of Botswana (2021) who hails from Moshupa; Katso Golekanye, 22, from Thamaga will be graduating from Botswana Accountancy College (BAC) with a Bachelor Degree in Computer Systems Engineering this December; and Bright Modise, 24, from Mochudi, graduated in absentia in June from the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) with a Bachelor Degree, Engineering in Mechatronics and Industrial Instrumentation.

All three cannot wait to return home after three months of intensive hands-on work experience at the Antwerp Innovation Lab in Belgium where they say they acquired critical skills not only of working with diamonds, but also technological skills. Motsomi says they have learned a lot so far. He is happy that the facility in Botswana is being set up and progressing well. “They are sending machines everyday”, says the man, who describes HB Antwerp as a “definition of blessing” as its purpose is to hire the youth both in Belgium and Botswana.


He hopes to convince HB Botswana to set up a Diamond Museum next to its facility to give Batswana an opportunity to experience diamonds first-hand. It is truly mind-boggling that coming from a diamond mining country he only saw a real diamond for the first time in Antwerp, and as Fate would have it he is working with quality stones sourced from Lucara in Botswana!

He has also had an opportunity to travel to Paris with his colleagues and watched football star, Lionel Messi play live.

For Golekanye, working with HB Antwerp has been an honour and a dream come true considering that he has shot a film with tech company, Microsoft about their experience at HB Antwerp. He has been trained as a Galaxy Technician and will be operating the machine that is used to scan diamonds. As a Systems engineer, Golekanye is also a solution architect. He is confident that Botswana has a bright future given what the country has thus far achieved with rough diamonds.

For Modise the European rendezvous has been a great experience especially being part of a company that wants to promote transparency in diamonds business. Modise works in the Droids department with machines that are used for polishing diamonds or transitioning rough diamonds to faceted diamonds.

He is fortunate to be working with the Signum Droid, the world’s only fully-automated diamond polishing robot. He says there are eight of these in the whole world and they are only found at HB Antwerp, and is proud that two of these Droids will be shipped to the Botswana facility. It seems HB Antwerp means to make HB Botswana much bigger and grander, according to Motsomi, who works in the Galaxy department and says ten of their Scanners will be shipped to Botswana.

These young people will arrive in Botswana on November 28th to pioneer a new beginning in Botswana’s diamond story. For the first time in this country’s diamond history, we will source rough diamonds directly from the mine, polish and sell the finished product from Botswana.

“we are setting standards”, the young men enthused.