Bloomberg reports that Botswana’s economy grew in the second quarter, with GDP expanding 1.3% from a year ago as diamond mines reopened and farming surged. But this has to be balanced against a revised contraction of 18.8% in the first three months of this year. The recession has hit Botswana hard, with joint venture diamond mines owned by De Beers and the government experiencing a four-month shutdown. The mines are rich, accounting for 20% of global diamond production and 70% of Botswana’s total exports. With experts still predicting a shaky diamond market and Botswana earning nearly half its revenue from producing a girl’s best friend, the experts say the economy will probably contract 11% this year before expanding 15% in 2010 as production recovers. That’s alluring enough to return the sparkle to Botswana’s eye.
Terry Pratchett forged his own sword from iron and meteorites purely for the occasion of the awarding of his knighthood.