Diamonds are still an important source of revenue to Botswana government and its people, according to the country’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
He said in a keynote speech delivered at a breakfast hosted by De Beers on the sidelines of JCK Las Vegas 2019 that diamonds contributed about 35% of Botswana’s GDP.
“We are in a space to utilise our revenue from diamonds to carve out a future for ourselves that enhances what we have, that leverages on our achievements, and propels us towards a knowledge economy,” he said.
Although Masisi hailed the contribution made by diamonds, reports suggested that the country’s mining sector’s share to the GDP declined from 25% in 2008 to 18% in 2018.
Botswana’s real GDP growth was expected to weaken over the next few years due to falling diamond production and below-trend construction sector growth, says Fitch Solutions in a report.
It projected Botswana’s real GDP growth to slow to 3.9% and 4.1% in 2019 and 2020 respectively, from 4.5% in 2018.
The short-term decline would be driven by the impact of the Cut Nine project at the Jwaneng mine, which would extend the mine’s lifespan to 2034.