Africa’s diamond-rich countries under pressure following G7’s Russian sanctions

Diamond-rich African nations, like Botswana, are ramping up production to fill the gap left by the sanctions on Russian diamonds announced by the Group of Seven (G7) earlier this year, but not all countries and companies are happy about the ban.

Botswanan Minister of Minerals and Energy, Lefoko Moagi, said recently that the southern African country’s mining sector presents promising opportunities despite the challenges posed by the G7 ban on rough diamonds mined in Russia. The ban part of many sanctions on Russia imposed by the G7 group of wealthy nations for President Vladimir Putin’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine. But the sanctions against Russian diamonds could pose a potential risk to the global diamond market’s stability. As diamonds and other precious gems bring massive revenues for some African countries, the ban “will put a lot of pressure on Botswana and other producing countries,” Moagi said.

De Beers Group, the world’s leading diamond company, has said it strongly supports the G7’s proposed sanctions on Russian diamonds, but stressed the need for an extended timeline to ensure effective implementation and industry adaptation. The company underscores that for the sanctions to be effective, they must be practical, industry-wide, and enforceable. In enhancing the so-called Kimberley Process, the only government-backed certification system for diamond origins, De Beers proposes that also producer countries with globally respected standards, such as Botswana, Canada, Namibia, South Africa, and Angola, should be empowered to certify their diamonds for trade with the G7.

About Geraldine Boechat 2757 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia