and the diamond industry.
There can be no doubt that diamonds have been enormously beneficial to Botswana and its population. A quick drive through Gaborone reveals a thriving city with new infrastructure and development happening every day. The population is better educated, healthier, and wealthier than ever before. While the future of Botswana's diamond industry remains unclear, for the time being at least, it serves as a case study in success for the world to learn from.
On September 20, 1966, Botswana declared its independence from Great Britain. At the time, the country had a GDP per capita of less than $84, and was one of the poorest and least developed countries on the planet. Just seven months later, in April 1967, geologists discovered the Orapa diamond mine within a cluster of kimberlites in the North-Central part of the country. The discovery set off a diamond rush that eventually led to the discovery of many more viable diamond mines, and elevated the country into one of the most important diamond producing nations in the world. Since that time, Botswana transformed itself into a thriving African nation, with diamonds central to its development.