Gem and jewellery industry leaders and top government officials – including U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana Earl R. Miller and Botswana’s Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Kitso Mokaila – celebrated the opening of GIA’s expanded lab and education facility in Gaborone on Tuesday, Jan. 19. The expansion supports GIA’s continued beneficiation efforts by bringing value-added services to gem-producing countries.
“Botswana plays a significant role in the diamond industry as one of the largest producing countries – both by value and volume,” said Susan Jacques, GIA’s president and CEO. “Much of the benefit of that diamond production comes from Botswana’s forward-thinking decision to participate in every possible step of the value chain. It is a great source of pride for me and for everyone at GIA that we have had the opportunity to support this ongoing effort.”
GIA established a diamond grading laboratory in Botswana in 2008 to better serve clients and the trade near where they operate. GIA employs 95 people in Gaborone, including 65 that have been trained by GIA as diamond graders.
With the expansion, which includes more classroom space, the Institute is advancing its goal of making Gaborone the destination for industry-leading gemological education in Africa. GIA is committed to Botswana’s future, to its continued growth, and to bringing more of the benefits of the global gem and jewelry industry to this very important source of diamonds. (GIA)