Diamonds sparkle in the gloom

Kabelo Adamson
FILE PIC PIC: Debswana Mine

Despite repeated efforts to diversify the country’s exports, minerals, diamonds, in particular, continue to make up the bulk of Botswana’s exports.

For the month of August, diamonds accounted for 79.9 percent of the country’s total exports, according to the International Merchandise Statistics from Statistics Botswana.

Diamonds were followed by machinery and electrical equipment, which accounted for just 9.1 percent.

Salt and Soda Ash came third with 2.1 percent followed by gold which accounted for 1.8 percent.

While the country is known to be a major beef producer, meat and meat products made just 1 percent of the total exports during the month.

Over the 31 days of August, Botswana’s total exports were valued at P2.7 billion, with P2.1 billion from diamond sales.

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It was noted that India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were the major destinations for the country’s exports, receiving 21.7 percent and 19.2 percent of all exports respectively.

For India, diamonds represented 99.8 percent of the total exports to the country while the mineral accounted for 100 percent of exports to the UAE.

The other major trading partner for Botswana was Belgium, which received 18.4 percent of the country’s exports during August, the entire amount being diamonds.

It was followed by South Africa which received 16.1 percent of total goods exported, with machinery and electrical equipment and diamonds making up 25.8 percent and 24.4 percent of the total.

Meanwhile, imports during the months of August were valued at P5.7 billion, with diamonds representing 30 percent of all goods brought into the country at P1.7 billion.

The second major commodities imported are food, beverages and tobacco, which made 13.2 percent of imports (P751.3 million) followed by fuel at 12.5 percent or P711 million.

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Most of the goods brought into the country were from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), accounting for P4.2 billion of total exports or 74.6 percent.

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