By Matabeleland North Correspondent
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has implored African diamond producing countries to stop exporting unpolished diamonds, saying the continent must begin consolidate its footprint in the global diamond industry.
He was speaking while officially opening the extraordinary meeting of the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA) Committee of Experts and Council of Ministers meeting in Victoria Falls.
The meeting started on Wednesday and ends Saturday.
“Greater information sharing between member States of the African Diamond Producing Countries Association should progressively result in us having a louder and more effective voice in the affairs of the global diamond mining sector. The continued exportation of raw diamond is a misnomer, especially in view of the fact that Africa produces about 60 percent of the world’s diamonds. African diamond producing countries should now increase beneficiation and value chain development 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 the requisite resources to build infrastructure, skills and a crop of qualified diamond industry artisans within jurisdictions.
“This is long overdue. Now is the time for us as Africans to begin consolidating our footprints in the global diamond industry. To this end, all efforts must be made towards establishing Africa as a hub of 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 maximise potential as African diamond producing countries.
Equally, the investments in research and development should be given due attention.
“As Africa leapfrogs its modernization and industrialization towards the realisation of the African Union Agenda 2063, sustainable development remains critical.
“Hence, the African Diamond Producing Countries Association must take greater strides to craft and implement comprehensive and collaborative frameworks which regulate the environmental impact of diamond mining,” he said.
He said Zimbabwe stands ready to play its part towards advancing the aspirations and objectives of ADPA.
He said together, African Diamond Producers Association should strengthen the institution and unreservedly lobby with one collective and united voice for the growth of the African diamond mining sector.