Mnangagwa implores African states to stop exporting rough diamonds
By Matabeleland North Correspondent
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa implored African diamond-producing countries to stop exporting unpolished diamonds, saying the continent must start consolidating its footprint in the global diamond industry.
He was speaking at the official opening of the extraordinary meeting of the Committee of Experts and Council of Ministers of the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA) in Victoria Falls.
The meeting started on Wednesday and ends on Saturday.
“Greater information sharing between member states of the Association of African Diamond Producing Countries should progressively allow us to have a stronger and more effective voice in the affairs of the global diamond mining sector. The continued export of rough diamonds is a misnomer, especially considering that Africa produces around 60% of the world’s diamonds. African diamond-producing countries should now increase the beneficiation and development of the value chain so that our countries become major producers of diamond jewelry and other accessories,” Mnangagwa said.
He said governments must deliberately put in place mechanisms and resources to create infrastructure, skills and a generation of skilled diamond artisans within jurisdictions.
“It is long overdue. Now is the time for us as Africans to start consolidating our footprints in the global diamond industry. To this end, every effort should be made to make Africa a hub for the diamond cutting and polishing industry,” he said.
He challenged ADPA to promote the harnessing of new technologies, entrepreneurial culture and youthful human capital to maximize the potential of African diamond-producing countries.
Similarly, investment in research and development should be given special attention.
“As Africa leaps forward in its modernization and industrialization towards achieving the African Union’s Agenda 2063, sustainable development remains key.
“Therefore, the Association of African Diamond Producing Countries must make greater efforts to develop and implement comprehensive and collaborative frameworks that regulate the environmental impact of diamond mining,” he said. .
He said Zimbabwe was ready to play its part in advancing the aspirations and goals of ADPA.
He said that together, the African Diamond Producers Association should strengthen the institution and push wholeheartedly with one collective and united voice for the growth of the African diamond mining sector.