Trapped by Diamonds, c. 1975–Present

  • Ellen Hillbom
  • Jutta Bolt
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)


Botswana’s diamond-led growth period has been described as a miracle and success story. In this chapter, Hillbom and Bolt provide an analysis of the period focusing on changes in the structure of the economy: processes of technological progress, sectorial change, and structural transformation. They discuss how, while diamond resources have been prudently managed, Botswana has not been able to use this window of opportunity to turn economic growth into inclusive sustainable economic development and instead the economy is caught in a natural resource trap. In the midst of social development, the colonial gate-keeping state structures remained in place which resulted in the creation of a dual society and economy. Today wealth and modernity exist side by side with poverty and under-development.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ellen Hillbom
    • 1
  • Jutta Bolt
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University of LundLundSweden
  2. 2.Lund UniversityLundSweden
  3. 3.University of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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