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Botswana President Opens JCK Vegas, Says Diamonds Helped Fight AIDS

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi said diamond revenue had not only helped build infrastructure in his country, it had played an instrumental role in Botswana’s fight against HIV and AIDS in light of the threat posed to his nation following the epidemic’s outbreak.

“We rolled out antiretroviral therapy nationally very successfully and we hit impressive targets in the prevention of mother to child transmission — up to 95 percent and beyond,” the President said in a keynote speech as he opened JCK Las Vegas 2019.

He added, “Then, for the first time through medical intervention, we were beginning to birth children from HIV positive parents who themselves were HIV negative, thanks to diamonds.”

The President went on to say, “Funds raised from diamonds have not just built our roads, but also our people. With a contribution of approximately 35 percent of our GDP coming from diamonds, they remain the most important source of revenue to my government and to our people.”

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