Have Africa's Resources Held it Back?

Have Africa’s Resources Held it Back?

A recent news item by Kirotv stated that 65% of the world’s diamonds come from Africa. Diamonds have been an enduring form of wealth from antiquity and access to them have been the cause of many conflicts. History teaches that having raw materials like diamonds does not necessarily create wealth. In fact, exercising real power over natural resources does not even come from simply  owning the process of extraction. The real value lies in the refining, jewellery making, distribution, sales and marketing.  These opportunities beyond mining are the ones that require skills, knowledge and the application of know-how. African governments have until quite recently focused on the process of extraction but even then, this has required access to foreign expertise which has not always been beneficial to countries. The control of natural resources are strategic to a country and it would be unthinkable for a nation wishing to inherit the full benefit of that resource by contracting out all the critical elements in the process.

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The incredible diamonds just found in Africa

Here’s how you can learn more about diamonds in London:

GIA London

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The Gemmology Association of Great Britain

Gemmology Lapidary courses in London

Africa has thousands of unemployed graduates in humanities. To transform the continent one of the biggest investments that could ever be made would be in skills, skills which are readily available and affordable in the western world. But don’t wait, the continent itself is waking up from its long slumber with Botswana leading the way in the extraction, cutting and marketing of its own natural resource. Now diamond buyers from across the globe make their way to the south west African country.

WATCH: BBC ‘s Can Botswana cash in on its diamonds?