Technology Is Driving Diversification of Botswana's Diamond Value Chain, Says De Beers

According to De Beers, technology is the main driver of the proliferation of cutting and polishing firms in Botswana over the last few years.

Botswana currently has 48 diamond manufacturing companies, compared to just 16 in 2008. The most recent to commence operations is HB Antwerp through its Botswana subsidiary, HB Botswana. All these employ over 4000 people.

Speaking to The Monitor, De Beers executive vice president for diamond trading, Paul Rowley, stated that technology has levelled the playing field against the traditionally more competitive diamond centres across the world. and gave Botswana an advantage in extrating value in the midstream activities of the diamond industry value chain.

Rowley further explained that De Beers had also been investing in technology over the years, such as through Synova, a company that innovated a water jet-guided laser technology which is being used by some of the local factories.

Government has also incentivised the establishment of cutting and polishing firms through initiatives around taxes and rebates around the technology being brought over for the factories.

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