The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an agency of the U.S. government, has approved a $250 million guarantee facility to help Botswana develop its newly-established diamond cutting and polishing industry.
OPIC said it would provide the guarantee to a company sponsored by Lazare Kaplan International Inc., a De Beers Sightholder based in the US, which in turn will pass on the guaranty to participating banks.
ABN AMRO has already been approved by OPIC as a participating bank and is expected to establish a subsidiary in Botswana.
Other banks operating in Botswana will also have an opportunity to join the diamond facilit. Participating banks will provide loans to Botswana-based diamond cutting and polishing companies.
It said the facility is projected to leverage the country’s diamond resources by increasing employment by more than 3,000 new skilled jobs.