Botswana’s diamond mines have long provided jobs and economic stability. But the land-locked nation is now looking to diversify its economy and is betting on sustainable tourism to help maintain its high standard of living in the future.
Britain’s Prince Harry calls Botswana his “second home”: For 20 years it has been his destination of choice when he wants to escape the media glare. The young royal even sourced the central diamond for his fiancée’s engagement ring from the country.
The diamond industry – in partnership with De Beers, the world’s largest supplier – currently contributes around 20 percent to the southern African nation’s GDP. Since diamonds were discovered in the country in 1967, the revenue from mining has been invested in infrastructure, schools and medical centres.
It is what transformed Botswana from one of the poorest to the fourth-wealthiest country on the continent – after Seychelles, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.