Zimbabwe is at an advanced stage of reaching an agreement with Botswana which will see the country beneficiating (adding more value) to its diamonds to get more revenue, according to Zimbabwe’s President, Emerson Mnangagwa.
Under the deal, Zimbabwe will be shipping its diamonds to Gaborone-based Diamond Trading Company (DTC) for processing, cleaning and polishing before the gems are placed on the market. DTC is regarded as the world’s most sophisticated diamond sorting and valuing hub.
Speaking during a tour of DTC in Gaborone on Wednesday, Mnangagwa said the the arrangement was part of a broader policy to come up with a diamond policy for Zimbabwe.
“In Zimbabwe, yes we have diamonds, but we do not really have a diamond policy. We are now crafting the policy, discussing with Botswana, Namibia and Angola to assist us in formulating a diamond policy for Zimbabwe.”
Currently, Zimbabwe’s diamond sector is fragmented, a situation which resulted in some politically-connected individuals making millions of dollars in illegal diamond sales during the reign of former president, Robert Mugabe.
Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe had a lot to learn from Botswana’s expertise in the diamond industry.
Zimbabwe’s Mines Minister, Winston Chitando, revealed that discussions to take Zimbabwe’s diamonds to Botswana had started months before, but President Mnangagwa’s Official State Visit had helped to seal the deal.
He said the first shipment of diamonds is expected be processed in Botswana within the next three months.