$125m loan pledged to Botswana trade

16 Oct 2018

diamond industryBotswana’s diamond-manufacturing industry has been guaranteed a $125 million loan to strengthen the nation’s economic growth.

The US government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has united with Botswana Finance, a subsidiary of diamond-manufacturing company Lazare Kaplan International (LKI), and Stanbic Bank to provide the loan. This would be the second part of a $250 million OPIC loan guarantee. The first instalment was provided in 2016 by Barclays Bank.

The set goal is to diversify Botswana’s economy, drive the development of the local financial sector, and give local companies access to financing.

OPIC CEO Ray Washburne said: “With the support of OPIC financing, this project will keep the value-adding process of the diamond-supply chain in Botswana, promoting local job creation, diversifying economic growth and bringing global trade opportunities. The project will have a significant impact in local communities and further the country’s economic development.”

Stanbic CEO Samuel Minta said that the guarantee will also positively impact the electricity, finance and business sectors.

In July, OPIC launched its Connect Africa initiative, aiming to invest $1 billion in projects throughout several sectors over the coming three years. – Rapaport (Diamonds.net)