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Botswana Eyes for Greater Share in Diamond Value Chain

GABORONE — Botswana, one of the world’s leading diamond producers, vows to expand its involvement in the industry’s value chain to promote more businesses and create more jobs in the country, a senior official has said.

The Botswanan government and De Beers, the world’s leading diamond company, on July 1 signed a new 10-year sales deal for Debswana, a joint venture between the two sides, on raw diamond production until 2033, as well as a 25-year extension of the mining license through 2054.

The new agreement will see more industries emerge from the diamond sector and more jobs in the southern African country, Minister of Minerals and Energy Lefoko Moagi said Thursday in the capital of Gaborone.

Botswana will move into the midstream of the business where diamonds are cut and polished, as well as the downstream of jewelry making and retail business, Moagi said.

“We noted that there is a serious value addition from just selling rough to sell polished goods. It has been seen in other places that it goes up to six times the value from the rough, so this is where we need to go to ensure that these industries are created,” he said.

From the start of the new contract period, Okavango Diamond Company, a Botswana state-owned enterprise, will initially receive 30 percent of Debswana production, which will gradually grow to 50 percent by the final year of the contract, according to the minister.

The two sides also agreed to set up vocational training institutes, entrepreneurship programs and talent programs in Botswana, and that diamond grading and inscription will be carried out within the country by the Botswanan side. The programs will focus on training the Botswanan people on valuation, grading, pricing, marketing, technical advancement and inventions in the diamond industry.

Source : China Daily