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Lily James, Global Ambassador For The Natural Diamond Council, Visits Botswana

Lily James, the Natural Diamond Council's newly appointed Global Ambassador, visited Botswana in October.

This October, actress Lily James, the Natural Diamond Council's newly appointed Global Ambassador, visited Botswana to witness firsthand the positive impacts of the natural diamond industry and the incredible process of recovering the rare, billion-year-old precious gems.

Her journey began with four days on safari at The Selinda Reserve, a scenic wildlife sanctuary that is home to thousands of elephants and the famous Selinda lion pride. She then went to the Orapa Game Park, which is part of the De Beers Diamond Route, to see firsthand the impact of the natural diamond industry's conservation efforts.

Ms. James also met with students and teachers at Livingstone House Primary School, one of four Debswana-run schools in the community. Debswana is a diamond mining company owned by De Beers and the Botswana government. The opportunity to see natural diamonds at their source was followed by a visit to Lucara Diamond Corp's Karowe Diamond Mine and the De Beers Global Sightholder Sales facility in Gaborone, Botswana's capital. Her final stop was at the KGK Diamonds cutting and polishing facility in Gaborone, where she met with some of their remarkable employees, the majority of whom are native citizens whose livelihoods rely on the natural diamond industry.

"I've been awestruck by Botswana's natural beauty and vibrant communities," Lily James says. "Knowing that the natural diamond industry protects so much of this land—over 1,000 square miles globally—makes me incredibly proud to be the NDC's Global Ambassador."

Botswana is a country with a population of 2.35 million people that has been inhabited and has remained an important place in the world. It is located in the middle of the Kalahari Desert and is thought to be the birthplace of humans 200,000-300,000 years ago. In 1967, natural diamonds were discovered there. Natural diamonds support the livelihoods of over 10 million people worldwide, and nowhere is this more evident than in Botswana, where they will contribute 33% of the country's GDP in 2021. Botswana also has the world's highest percentage of women-owned businesses. The diamond industry's collaboration with the government of Botswana supports a school system that educates 522,000 children per year on average. There were only three secondary schools in 1966.

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