Home to the Jwneng open cast diamond mine, the world’s richest, Botswana is looking beyond diamond mining as to how it will support its population of 2.3 million once diamonds are exhausted-production is already down-production of which accounts for 80% of export earnings and the single largest contributor to government finance. The way forward that has been identified is to create a technology and innovation hub which will be housed in the new Icon Building being built at a cost of USD 60 million in Gaborone the capital. Designed by top US firm SHoP which already has a number of tech clients including Uber and Google, the Botswana government are doing it properly realizing that the future requirements for the country far exceed the not inconsiderable revenues from the tourist industry. The Botswanan Pula currently trading at 11.3 v USD is reasonably steady but the markets have taken it from 4.55 in December 2003 reflecting the need for the country to identify a new significant source of earnings.
More about how this behemoth stock has performed in the past month: a month ago the price stood at $115 before rising to $134 and now is back to $110. The fall from the high is 20% and $532 Billion in value. It is not just the lack of a new iPhone release-that was widely discounted as a likelihood as we wrote a few weeks ago-it is more the general fall across the tech sector. For those who make their living by trading Apple stock such as my surfing friend in Sydney, Australia a cumulative move of 40% in a single month brings both reward and risk.
It was 35 years ago today that Dire Straits released their smash Money for Nothing which certainly then struck the right notes in the 80’s climate of anything being possible and included a guest appearance from Sting on vocals. Much later on the song attracted negative press for being homophobic but in those more innocent days of pre PC awareness, it was the most commercially successful Dire Straits song ever released and equally as popular. Here’s a reminder of Money for Nothing that went Gold and the B side of course was the almost as successful Love Over Gold:
Now look at them yo-yo’s that’s the way you do it
You play the guitar on the MTV
That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Money for nothin’ and chicks for free
Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain’t dumb
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb
We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV’s
Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder