Botswana looking to move away from dependence on diamonds
A recent article in the Africa Review reports that Botswana is desperate to end overreliance on mining following threats of diminishing diamond reserves.
Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, said the country was “heavily dependent on a single and finite commodity – diamonds”.
Mining, dominantly diamonds, accounted for about 41% of government’s revenue and 32.3% of GDP last year and Mr Kedikilwe believes economic diversification is the way out. “We do recognise that economic diversification is a long term process and in our case, the immediate concern is how to lessen the country’s heavy dependence on diamonds,” Kedikilwe said at the just-ended Botswana Resource Sector Conference.
He said the country was presently monitoring another looming double-dip recession and had to stay prepared for it. “Economic diversification and sustainable growth cannot succeed unless an overall enabling framework has been put in place first. Priority areas for my ministry are coal and diamonds,” he added.