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Botswana plans Special Economic Zone to house diamond trading hub

Botswana plans Special Economic Zone to house diamond trading hub

The success of the Botswana Government to attract the international Diamond Trading Company to Gaborone, is now paying dividends on a wider scale. A Special Economic Zone will be developed near the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport outside Gaborone, where the relocated Diamond Trading Company, will be the anchor enterprise. An international consulting firm has been appointed to conduct the masterplan review for the intended project.

Royal HaskoningDHV, based in Johannesburg, will be responsible for the masterplan review in a joint venture with the company’s local branch in Botswana.

The idea for the Special Economic Zone originated with the Business and Economic Advisory Council of Botswana. For this purpose the Botswana Government has established a Special Economic Zone Authority to provide an investor-friendly business environment for both domestic and foreign investors. Eight strategic areas across Botswana have been identified for promoting the development of a variety of industries that will lead to the diversification of the economy through public sector, private sector and public-private partnerships.

Manfred Uken, Director Strategic Business Development for Transport and Planning in Africa at Royal HaskoningDHV stated, “The Special Economic Zone at the airport is an exciting six-month project that is planned to be completed by the end of August 2017 and fits in well with our goal to help develop business and job opportunities on our continent. It also complements the work we are already carrying out at the Aerotropolis for King Shaka International Airport in Durban, South Africa”. Royal HaskoningDHV will provide the Urban Design Master Plan; the Landscape Design Master Plan; a Strategic Environmental Assessment; a Hydrogeological and Geotechnical Survey; a Traffic Engineering Study and a Topographical Survey.

The airport Special Economic Zone will initially house the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana and the Botswana Innovation Hub, a science and technology park that helps diversify the economy to transform Botswana into a knowledge economy.

In addition, the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre, an integrated Investment and Trade Promotion Authority (ITPA) with an encompassing mandate of investment promotion and attraction, export promotion and development, including management of the National Brand will also be incorporated within the mixed-use economic zone.

The zone is carried by the addition of the Diamond Hub which was established to coordinate economic activity in the diamond sector, administering beneficiation in rough and polished diamond trading, the cutting and polishing industry, jewellery manufacturing, and secondary trading of rough and polished diamonds.

Royal HaskoningDHV Group is an independent, international engineering and project management consultancy established in 1881 with a long hisotry in infrastructure, energy, industrial plants, maritime structures, mining, large transport projects, urban development, and water reticulation.

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SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.