Gemstone Centre opens in Keetmanshoop
The Polytechnic of Namibia announced the launch of the Gemology Training Programme last week at the inauguration of the Keetmanshoop Gemstone Centre and Graduation Ceremony of Gemology Trainees
The Training programme is the result of collaboration between the Polytechnic, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Offshore Development Company, Kristallen Sweden as well as the Finnish Partnership for Local Democracy and Development and Social Innovation (PLDDSI).
Prof. Tjama Tjivikua, Rector of The Polytechnic of Namibia, said that the project will lead to local economic development as well as in the increase of job creation and poverty reduction.
He added that the collaborative effort of partners in this project has led to the establishment of the Gemstone Centre, which will provide a platform for building a strong gemstone industry in Namibia.
He said the graduation ceremony was also evidence that the Centre is beginning to provide the necessary skills to the local community to enable them to not remain an informal industry, but to become a formal one and a reference point in Namibia.
The minister of Trade and industry, Hon. Calle Schlettwein gave the key note address at the event, said that his expectation from this partnership should address capacity building both in processing and entrepreneurship development and that the Centre should be self sustainable with the income it gets from the precious stones as well as other end products it sells and the partnership arrangement should be extended to other regions such as Erongo and Kunene. Hon. Schlettwein congratulated all the trainees who completed the Gemology training programme and reminded them that graduation is indeed one big step to their future lives and that many will be watching closely to see what they will be doing with the knowledge and skills they have acquired.
“I think it is important to make the observation that in all the cohorts in the program the number of intakes has been dominated by female students and we are all delighted by the fact that the programme provides an opportunity for fair gender representation,” emphasised Hon. Schlettwein.
He said that the Centre holds a promise for a better future for the people of the region specifically and that they were given an opportunity to build the future they dream of and the future they deserve.