Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Diamonds: Gaborone's best friend?

With a name like that,  one wouldn't be surprised that Botswana thinks so;
After decades of just mining rough diamonds, Botswana's capital Gaborone now cuts, polishes and sells the precious stones itself.
....This dusty, low-rise city is being transformed, as high-rise flats and hotels are constructed and businesses bet it will mean a boost for them.
Diamond-related companies are setting up factories in anticipation of the global mining giant De Beers relocating its sales business here from London.
Soon, $6bn (£4bn) worth of diamond trades will take place here, attracting buyers from around the world.
Which is having the usual multiplier effect;
Abel Monnakgotla, who runs a local transport company, AT&T, has 50 buses and runs routes to neighbouring South Africa and Namibia.
He's now invested in new, shiny minibuses and says he's earning money by ferrying diamond traders around.
"We have diversified. We've gone into car rentals and airport shuttles," he says.
"Most of the benefit has previously been at a macro level - infrastructure, roads. But as entrepreneurs we haven't had a direct benefit. We will now benefit directly." 
 Worked for San Francisco.

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