De Beers Group
in Botswana

DE BEERS GROUP RELOCATION FROM LONDON TO GABORONE BOOSTS BOTSWANA`S GDP

The year 2012 remains a key milestone for Botswana, as this is the year in which the Government of Botswana (GRB) and De Beers Group of Companies cemented their partnership through the relocation of the then Diamond Trading Centre International now De Beers Global Sightholder Sales (DBGSS) from London to Gaborone.

Although the relationship between GRB and De Beers Group dated back over 50 years, at the time of the relocation, the euphoria that came with this was synonymous with that of the discovery of the Orapa kimberlite pipe in 1971. The sales and marketing arm of De Beers had been in London for over 70 years prior to the relocation, and the world was watching with excitement the growth of this Public Private Partnership and its potential to positively transform the lives of the people of Botswana.

“The move not only shifted the entire centre of gravity for rough diamond sales from Europe to Africa, but it also signalled the start of a new chapter in Botswana’s economic history” explained Paul Rowley, the Executive Vice President - Diamond Trading. At the top of its strategy to turn diamond dreams into lasting reality for the benefit of its customers and stakeholders, De Beers Group has passionately undertaken various projects that contribute sustainably to Botswana’s socio-economic development including the transformation of her people.

The move from London came with the transfer of people, technology, systems and processes to Gaborone, boost to the country’s economy, particularly important as Botswana makes her strides towards making its capital city a Diamond City.

Prior to the relocation the value of rough diamonds traded in-country was just under US$1billion and has gone to over US$5 billion post the process. The catalyst in this is the solid shareholder partnership between De Beers Group and the Government of Botswana, which is one of the best examples of Public Private Partnership the world over. Sightholder confidence in the relocation also made it a smooth transaction, and it is pleasing that these critical partners continue to support the process fully.