h1

Shawnda: Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds

July 9, 2011

Today we visited DTC Botswana, which is their diamond trading company.  Fortunately, we could have one camera, so I took the responsibility upon myself to take mediocre pictures. 

Unfortunately, we were coming towards the end of the work day, so not many diamonds were in plain sight.  We were able to go through a ridiculous amount of security, including passport checks and at least 5 key access doors.  We were escorted throughout the building and outside, with most of the eyes on me and my camera.  Trust me, even if I did take confidential pictures, they would be too out of focus to decipher.

The building was created in 2008 and was incredibly modern and well equipped with security. 

We were given a brief history on Botswana and its diamond industry:

In only 1966, Botswana was classified as the 3rd poorest country and had less than 5km of paved road, one hospital, and few clinics.  In 1967 its economy and development were forever changed when diamonds were discovered.  The Jwaneng mine is the richest in the world and is located in southern Botswana.  Since then, Botswana has become the forerunner in diamond mining, contributing 60% of the diamonds traded. 

In the US, diamonds are a luxury; in Botswana, they are a necessity.  They account for 50% of Botswana’s income and 30% of its GDP.  They allow for free health care and schooling, including college. Currently, Botswana is trying to allocate the aggregation process from London to Gaborone, further increasing revenue and decreasing security risk.  They are also trying to create an industry in which diamonds can be cut, designed, and sold in the country.  Diamond trade is an 8 billion dollar industry, but diamond retail is a 70 billion dollar industry.  By creating “Botswana” diamonds, the country could drastically increase their income and continue in their positive development.  

We were able to see a few piles of diamonds being examined for quality.  It was incredible to see how naturally perfect they were, although they had not been processed at all.  It was so interesting to see such a pivotal component of their economy…and to see a pile of diamonds!

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: