Gem of an Idea.

An alliance between Botswana and De Beers offers a further remedy to Africa's "resource curse"

Per-Anders Pettersson / Reportage / Getty For TIME

De Beers' joint venture in Gaborone will create up to 3,000 new jobs in mining, sorting and polishing.

If there is a formula for foreign companies operating in Africa's extractive industries, it has been this: Pay the government millions of dollars for concession rights; dig, pump, pick or chop what you seek; and export. Don't worry too much about the country or its people.

These days, you'll increasingly have to make some effort to control pollution and balance profits with corporate social responsibility. But many Western multinationals would still balk at demands to create enough jobs in the host country to offset the corruption, inequality and not infrequent social unrest their fees can fuel. Such things, they argue, are...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!