DIAMONDS ACCOUNT FOR 33% OF THE GDP (APPROXIMATELY $3.3 BILLION) OF BOTSWANA. SINCE INDEPENDENCE IN 1966, THE YEAR BEFORE DIAMONDS WERE DISCOVERED IN BOTSWANA, GDP ANNUAL GROWTH RATE AVERAGED 7%.
As Festus Mogae, the democratically elected President of Botswana, said, "For our people, every diamond purchase represents food on the table; better living conditions; better healthcare; potable and safe drinking water; more roads to connect our remote communities; and much more." Over the past 25 years, Botswana has had one of the fastest growing economies in the world and diamonds are continuing to contribute to a sustainable future for Botswana.
Approximately 25% of the labor force in Botswana are directly or indirectly linked to diamonds, and this figure is set to rise. United in a common goal, the government of Botswana and the diamond industry are setting up local cutting and polishing industries to increase the country's share of the values added from diamonds, which will boost the economy further and directly benefit the people of Botswana. Training and equipping people from Botswana in skilled jobs is enabling long-term sustainable work for these individuals.
- Minister M.C Tibone, Minister of Minerals, 19 October 2006