De Beers should be allowed in the United States, Botswanan president Festus Mogae recently declared at a National Press Club forum.
But he stressed that he was only expressing “a wish” and added, “It’s better to let sleeping dogs lie.”
Mogae was in town to counter the negative publicity generated by conflict diamonds, and he stressed the benefits diamonds bring to his country. Revenue from diamond mines accounts for nearly half of Botswana’s gross domestic product. Debswana, the joint venture between De Beers and the Bostwanan government, owns 10% of De Beers as a result of the recent privatization.