The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), a nonprofit institute dedicated to research and education in the field of gemology and the jewelry arts has opened an expanded laboratory and education facility in Gaborone, Botswana.
In bid to support beneficiation efforts in Botswana by bringing value-added services to diamond producing countries, GIA said through the expansion, which includes more classroom space; it is advancing its goal of making Gaborone the destination for industry-leading gemological education in Africa.
Some of the delegates and dignitaries in attendance at the ceremony were Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Kitso Mokaila, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Botswana Earl R. Miller, gem and jewelry industry leaders and top government officials including. GIA’s president and CEO Susan Jacques reiterated that Botswana plays a tremendous role in the diamond industry by value and volume. She praised Botswana’s “forward-thinking decision to participate in every possible step of the value chain”. The GIA set up a diamond-grading laboratory in Botswana in 2008. Today the GIA employs 95 people in Gaborone, including 65 who have been trained by the organization as diamond graders.