By Michelle Graff
New York--The Diamond Empowerment Fund (DEF) has given a $175,000 grant to be split among its three beneficiaries, all of which provide higher education in diamond-producing nations.

The grant will benefit the Botswana Top Achievers, which provides top high school students with the opportunity to study at a university of their choice worldwide and return to Botswana to contribute to its economic diversification and growth; the African Leadership Academy, a university preparatory school in Johannesburg; and the CIDA City Campus, South Africa’s first nonprofit university that offers a four-year business degree.

“We greatly appreciate the support of DEF in empowering our young people," said H.E. Tebelelo Seretse, Botswana’s ambassador to the United States. 

Frank Swaniker, co-founder of the African Leadership Academy, said "DEF, over the years, has provided the African Leadership Academy with the peace of mind and financial stability so that we can focus on our mission of developing outstanding leaders who can transform Africa."

DEF, which music mogul Russell Simmons co-founded to promote education in Africa’s diamond-producing countries, regularly raises money for and donates to its educational beneficiaries.

The organization gave $75,000 to the Botswana’s Top Achievers program last year and has hosted raffles at other industry events to support these endeavors.

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