Beyond Prince Harry: Securing Botswana’s Diamond Legacy – by Joshua Freedman (Rapaport Magazine – June 27, 2024)


Tourism could be central to the country’s post-mining plans, says Debswana executive.

What connects Prince Harry and Kim Kardashian? Probably quite a lot of things, but among them is that they have both been to Botswana.

Harry famously vacationed with Meghan Markle in the southern African country, while Kardashian has visited the Jwaneng diamond mine. The latter might not have been the most glamorous place in which the celebrity has set foot: Jwaneng, like most diamond mines, is a massive pit in the ground.

Letting consumers in

However, there might be wider opportunity for the world’s largest diamond-producing nation by value. Being able to tell your customer a diamond is from Botswana — and explain why that matters — is a powerful thing. But being able to sell them a trip to the mine to select their rough diamond and receive it a few weeks later as a polished stone on a ring could be a deal-clincher.

This is not the common reality yet. Diamond mines are high-security locations, with limited access to outsiders. Debswana, the 50:50 joint venture between De Beers and the Botswana government, welcomes visitors on a case-by-case basis.

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