Economic diversification is the centrepiece of President Ian Khama's strategy and its first test will be in the diamond business. Botswana, the world's biggest producer of diamonds by volume and value, opened a US$93 million sorting and valuing facility in Gaborone last month. Owned by Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB), a government-De Beers joint venture, it will sort, value and market all rough diamond output by Debswana Diamond Company (Debswana), itself another 50:50 government-De Beers joint venture. In 2007 it produced just over a fifth of global rough diamond output. By the end of 2009, DTCB aims to sell some $550 mn. worth of rough stones to the 16 local cutting and polishing firms and is expected to create about 3,000 new jobs, according to De Beers Botswana Chief Executive, Sheila Khama, a presidential relative.
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