Africa’s geographic position is excellent for diamond production. Located in a literal box in the middle of 4 major fault lines with the epicenter of diamond production being just north of South Africa, it’s no wonder that most of the world’s highest quality diamonds come from South Africa. And with working standards improving dramatically, the industry is constantly improving in every facet.
So just how important are diamonds to Africa’s economy? Let’s take a look:
An Economic Boon
As of 2020, the diamond industry contributes over $8 billion to the African economy, making Africa the world’s top producer of diamonds. Approximately 47% of the world’s diamonds come from Africa and almost 3/4ths of Botswana’s export revenue came from diamonds alone. For scale, Canada is the third biggest producer of diamonds at a mere $1.8 billion.
Aside from large economic figures, the diamond trade has allowed governments there to prosper much more than they would otherwise which has led to an estimated 5 million africans having healthcare. While that number isn’t particularly staggering on it’s own, there are about 10 million people globally who work in the diamond industry, with around half of those being in Africa.
The progression of Namibia
Namibia, a coastal country bordering the Northwestern part of South Africa, does not have many resources. Aside from fishing, the country’s land is not especially fertile, making it hard to grow valuable crops. However, the country is a prime resource of diamonds which have helped lift them out of poverty and into advancement.
The diamond industry in Namibia has created thousands of jobs and is about 10% of their total GDP. With this extra money, the government has taken the opportunity to bolster it’s schools and power grid particularly. With the creation of local businesses that handle cutting and polishing, the industry has grown to new heights.
It isn’t just Namibia either, Botswana now offers free educations to the age of 13 thanks to revenues from diamond mining. With the current zero-tolerance policy towards conflict diamonds, the industry is as safe as it’s ever been as well.
Of course, diamonds provide much more to the earth than that. Russia, Australia, Canada and the United States are just some of the countries that benefit heavily from diamond production, but granting opportunities to some African countries that are limited in them is an excellent boon.