The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) in cooperation with the Botswana Institute of Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA) and the University of Botswana (UB) hosted a conference with the theme: "Are Diamonds there forever? – Prospects of a sustainable Development Model for Botswana", which took place on 27 and 28 August 2014 at Lansmore Hotel in Gaborone, Botswana.
Botswana is often regarded as an African success story – not only in political but also in economic terms. As one of the world’s poorest countries at independence, Botswana transformed itself into a middle income country whose wealth per capita is among the highest in Africa. Botswana is also one of the few countries whose enormous mineral riches have generally been used for the welfare improvement of the population and enhanced political stability. It is often seen as having escaped the resource curse.
Despite political stability, low rates of corruption and much effort to diversify its economic base, Botswana still suffers from an overwhelming dependency on a single commodity. The diamond industry accounts for 70% to 80% of export earnings, a third of GDP and up to 45% of government revenue. Once its mines are depleted, Botswana stands before a very uncertain future.
The conference addressed issues of economic diversification and a sustainable development model from an economic and political point of view. Papers presented at the conference can be accessed here.