globalEDGE Blog: All Good Things Come to an End ... or Do They?

All Good Things Come to an End ... or Do They?

File under: Botswana,

A few decades ago Botswana relied solely on its agriculture and was one of the poorest nations in the world. However, ever since the discovery of diamonds in the late 20th century, Botswana has become a success story. Jwaneng, the richest diamond mine in the world when measured by value of recovered diamonds, has been the main source of the prosperity of the African country. Not only has the per capita income increased to close to $6000 a year, but the infrastructure has been improved as well. The country's citizens have seen new roads, hospitals, and schools as well as an improved system to deal with the H.I.V and AIDS problem the country has had.

There is no doubt that Botswana has seen a tremendous economic growth due to its prime industry being diamond mining. The question is, how long can this trend keep on going for? Should the country's leaders start thinking about a Plan B since diamond resources won't last forever? The Botswana Gazette reported that "President Lt Gen Ian Khama has said the need for diversification is an urgent priority because of an anticipated decline in diamond production from 2020 onwards as existing reserves become exhausted."

A good place for Botswana to look into expanding to sustain its growth and successful economy is tourism. At this point, the country sees a good amount of tourists looking for a safari adventure since Botswana has a very unique wildlife. Currently, however, the target market for safaris is the wealthy. Therefore, the tourism sector needs to be expanded to attract a wider variety of tourists in more parts of the country. Also, the country needs to improve its airports to accept more international flights. One thing to keep in mind when making advances to accommodate more tourists is not to flood specific areas but to spread lodges throughout the country. The factor that plays the most important role in tourism in Botswana is its nature and therefore sustainability is important.

What does the future hold for Botswana? Is its success going to be short-lived or will it just change to depend on a different industry?

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