On Tuesday, January 19, industry leaders and top government officials celebrated the opening of GIA’s expanded lab and education facility in Gaborone. This growth 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,” says Susan Jacques, president and CEO of GIA. “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.”
In 2008, GIA established a diamond-grading laboratory in Botswana to better serve clients and the local trade. Today, the organization employs 95 people in Gaborone, including 65 that have been trained as diamond graders.
With the expansion—which features more classroom space—the Institute is advancing its goal of making Gaborone the destination for industry-leading gemological education in Africa. CJ