World’s largest diamond producer seeks training in IndiaFebruary 7th, 2010 - 3:33 pm ICT by IANS
By Devirupa Mitra
New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS) Botswana, the world’s largest diamond producer, is seeking training from India in the cutting and polishing of rough diamonds that also have the world’s third biggest market in India after the US and Japan.
“We are looking for increasing the number of slots for Botswana nationals to come for training courses here, especially in the diamond polishing and cutting sector,” Botswana’s High Commissioner Dorcas Ana Kgosietsile told IANS in an interview.
Botswana, a country of 1.8 million people in southern Africa, is the world’s largest producer of diamonds, whose production and distribution is directly controlled by a joint venture of South Africa’s De Beers group and the government, called Debswana.
On the other hand, the largest proportion of rough diamonds is processed through India in cutting and polishing them according to market trends and then exported throughout the world.
In recent years, there has been the emergence of a nascent diamond polishing industry in Botswana, with two Indian companies so far having set up factories. Most of them have got Indian employees to Botswana to train the local people.
“I know that Indians can cut any shape or size, even if it is the size of a grain,” she said.
The Botswana envoy was also keen to increase awareness in Botswana about India as a market for diamonds. “It is the third largest consumer of diamonds after the United States and Japan. With global recession, the US and Japanese markets had gone down, but India has been relatively resilient. I have been telling people in Botswana that they should be looking at India seriously,” she said.
She felt that more and more Indian companies, like Suashish diamonds and Shrenuj who have become sightholders for Debswana, should travel to Botswana to set up shop.
“I see a lot of synergies here,” Kgosietsile asserted.
In January, Indian Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari had gone to Botswana on a three-day visit during which two agreements in agriculture and education were signed. Capacity building, whether for education or diamond polishing, is in fact the major area for which Botswana is looking towards Africa.
The pan African e-network has garnered a lot of enthusiasm, with the southern African state already having begun distance education classes, despite being one of the later entrants.
“We have already started classes with 186 students for graduate and masters degrees,” said Kgosietsile, who came to India in 2006 to start her country’s first embassy here.
She said while Botswana was perhaps the 21st nation in Africa to sign on to the pan-African network, “we will certainly be among the top in terms of usage”.
Similarly, she said Botswana already had 50 annual slots under the ministry of external affairs ITEC programme, which sponsors courses for foreign citizens in Indian institutions for courses which are as diverse as information technology, health and education.
“Ultimately, I want to go towards a strategic relationship, where we look towards each other as friends and partners for any matter,” said Kgosietsile.
(Devirupa Mitra can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Indian diamond company comes to Botswana's rescue - Jul 18, 2009
- India's vice president goes to Botswana in search of diamonds - Jan 09, 2010
- 'Botswana's diamonds of interest to India' - Jan 05, 2010
- India extends $20 million credit to Botswana, Africa's model democracy - Jan 10, 2010
- We want to work with India; Gambian foreign minister - Aug 22, 2010
- India not to be 'prescriptive' while giving aid, Botswana told - Jan 11, 2010
- With diamonds on mind, India's vice president reaches Botswana - Jan 09, 2010
- Ethiopia to host second India-Africa summit - Feb 21, 2011
- Manmohan kicks off week of high-wire Africa diplomacy - May 22, 2011
- India, Botswana sign two deals on agriculture, education (Lead) - Jan 10, 2010
- Diamond mine walls collapse in Botswana - Jun 30, 2012
- Botswana opens export and investment office in Mumbai - Jun 18, 2010
- Botswana Vice President to visit India for four days - Jun 15, 2010
- India to set up 19 training institutes in Africa - Dec 10, 2010
- Indian jewellery showcased at US show - Jun 02, 2012
Tags: de beers, diamond producer, dorcas, emergence, factories, global recession, hamid ansari, high commissioner, japanese markets, joint venture, largest diamond, market trends, mitra, mohammed, nationals, New Delhi, rough diamonds, shrenuj, southern africa, synergies