Angola seeking Botswana’s diamond processing experience

Angola will rely on Botswana’s experience in producing, processing and sale of diamonds, the President João Lourenço announced Friday in Gaborone.

João Lourenço said so at the beginning of official talks between the delegations from both countries, as part of his two-day state visit stated Thursday (20) to Botswana.

In his speech, João Lourenço highlighted the reforms implemented in the diamond sector in that southern African country and considered an example to be followed by Angola.

“It was a revolution”, said the Angolan President, referring to the reforms that placed Botswana among the largest diamond producers in the world.

Currently, Botswana’s diamond production stands at around 60% of its exports.

The country reports an annual average of around 26 million carats, being the second largest producer of diamonds in the world, after Russia.

João Lourenço said it was crucial that Angola and Botswana share some infrastructure, mainly economic.

The Statesman took the opportunity to propose that the country, independent since 1966, join Angola as co-owner (shareholder) of the Lobito Refinery, under construction in the Angolan province of Benguela.

This is a unit that is designed to refine up to 200,000 barrels of crude oil/day, and should be the largest in the country.

The construction of the Lobito Refinery aims, among other aspects, to gradually eliminate the current dependence on the import of refined products, mainly gasoline and diesel.

The President also defended sharing with the states of the region the surplus of their production in electricity.

In the case of Botswana, the Head of Executive Power of Angola said that this intention should be implemented through the border province of Cuando Cubango.

In the field of transport, the Angolan statesman expressed Angola’s interest in intensifying bilateral cooperation, with a view to restocking cattle in Angola.

Angolan President announced the opening, in the short term, of an air connection between the cities of Luanda (Angola) and Gaborone (Botswana).

Addressing a press conference after the meeting, João Lourenço expressed Angola’s interest in cooperating with Botswana in the production of beef and in the field of nature conservation, mainly in the management of national parks.

As for the Bilateral Joint Commission, the Angolan statesman explained that the next one should take place in the Angolan capital, on a date to be agreed by both States.

The two countries have as potential areas of cooperation the sectors of diamonds, education, health and environment.

Angola and Botswana established diplomatic relations on February 18, 1976.

In February 2006, the two countries signed a General Cooperation Agreement.

In cooperation between Angola and Botswana, the diamond sector is a priority, along with education, health and the environment

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)