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Politics may complicate Botswana diamond dispute

Monday, March 13, 2023


Protracted negotiations over a new deal have been complicated by political tensions between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor Ian Khama. Botswana produces almost one-quarter of the world’s diamonds and its importance to the sector has been magnified as buyers shun diamonds from Russia, the world’s largest producer.


  • Efforts to prosecute Khama could damage Botswana’s reputation as a stable democracy.
  • Difficulties with the negotiations may encourage De Beers to broaden its supply base beyond Botswana.
  • Uncertainty over future diamond production will encourage Botswana to diversify its mining sector into coal and copper.

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