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Economics Of Rough Diamonds Essay

1642 words - 7 pages

Countries in Africa rely heavily on their exportation of diamonds along with oil for income. The revenue from the exportation of rough diamonds has either helped countries develop or lead to catastrophic events. The economic comparison of countries that sell rough diamonds can vary greatly. Some African countries strive for economic independence where as others have faced years of conflict and poverty. The economic and political oversight of rough diamonds compared differently throughout countries in Africa. Two countries that are plentiful in rough diamond resources are Botswana and Angola. These two countries took two different economic paths. Botswana embraced a democratic government and escaped civil war while Angola has suffered years of civil war. Despite the fact that both countries sell the same resource, they faced different economic futures.

In 1967, Botswana became an independent democratic country from Britain. Most of Botswana's revenue at that time came from the agricultural industry. The government of Botswana was approached by a corporation called DeBeers in the early 1970's. DeBeers is a large corporation that oversees the production of rough diamond mines. DeBeers offered Botswana a 50/50 “share ownership in all of the country's diamond mines” (Taylor and Mokhawa 263). Botswana was one of few countries in Africa that saw the potential for economic growth by having a joint venture with DeBeers. When DeBeers and Botswana formed their first partnership, it became a new company called Debswana. The first major exploration discovery of the joint partnership was in a city called Boteti. This is an area rich in rough diamonds and is now called the Orapa field. The diamond mine located here is home to the
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second largest diamond mining pipe in the world. The decision that Botswana's Government made helped the country escape civil war and develop a stable and flourishing economy. The leaders of Botswana wanted to improve the standard of living for their people and bring economic independence to a newly democratic country. This agreement also helped protect Botswana from rebels invading their country for diamonds.
Angola's Government was overseen by Portugal up until the mid 1970's. Angola wanted to gain independence from Portugal and the Portuguese Government was unwilling to do so. A liberation movement started causing three different unified forces to form. Those forces were the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), National Front for the Liberation of Angola (FNLA), and the National Union for the Total Independence (UNITA). These forces banded together to remove the Portuguese government from power. By the late 1970's, the MPLA was forming a new government under their control. Even though, the MPLA gained control of the government, UNITA and FNLA wanted to run the government also. The three once unified forces were now fighting amongst each other for power and causing civil wars. Most of...

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