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The Diamonds of Namibia


Namibia is a Southern African nation with rich diamond reserves. Their production comes mostly from marine sources: diamonds that have been deposited on the ocean floor as a result of river movements and ancient tidal basin flows. There are also a few small, land-based mining operations. Marine mining is a difficult, costly, and highly mechanized process. De Beers is the main producer of diamonds in Namibia, having invested heavily in marine mining equipment and exploration vessels over the years. The limited artisanal mining in the country means the government has strong controls over production levels. 

In 2010, the Debmarine Namdeb Foundation was established to provide funding to charitable causes within the country. The group has received high praise for its donations, including computers for disadvantaged young women in rural communities, temporary mobile housing for a group that tracks and monitors the well-being of wild animals, and solar lighting for young children in remote locations without access to reliable electricity for studying.

Namibia has followed a similar model to the one established by neighboring Botswana. The verdict is not yet in, but in terms of the nation developing as a manufacturing center, there are some cracks in the foundation. Diamonds have helped to transform the country in a very short period of time. Since the creation of Namdeb in 1994, Namibia has seen its per capita GDP nearly double. With continued exploration and development, the next 30 years could see that happen again.

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