By Tichaona Kurewa
The African Diamond Producing Countries Conference has ended in Victoria Falls, with member nations resolving to harness diamonds for the development of the continent through scaling up value addition of the precious stones.
The curtain came down this Friday on the Extraordinary Association of African Diamond Producing Countries (ADPA) meeting in Victoria Falls, with the organisation resolving to strengthen ADPA and to lure all diamond producing countries on the continent to join the association.
Harnessing diamonds for the development of the continent through scaling up value addition of the precious stones was emphasised.
“ADPA membership is open to all African countries and one of the resolutions is to ensure that all diamond producers on the continent become members of ADPA including Botswana which is one of the major producers of diamonds on the continent. We have since written to be part of ADPA. It will strengthen us, if all of us come as a block of African countries that are subscribing to this organisation and having a big voice in research, exploration, mining, value addition and overseeing the marketing of the diamond resource that are coming out of Africa, going as individual countries, we lose a voice and voice is what we need. The more we are, the higher and louder our voice will go because as a block we will decide and send diamonds as we wish just like the OPEC countries. What we also want as ADPA members is to sell value-added diamonds and we will be pushing this through our association,” said Dr Steven Kuruswa, Tanzania Deputy Minister of Minerals.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development & ADPA Vice Chairperson Hon Winston Chitando explained the resolutions made and what they mean to ADPA.
“The main resolutions or discussions are around strengthening the secretariat of ADPA, that is the main focus of the resolutions made, there will be another meeting to be held in July to follow through what was agreed in terms of strengthening the administrative capacity of ADPA. An organogram was approved in terms of the new structure of the secretariat; the council of ministers will then move in to make appointments to the secretariat,” he said.
Currently chaired by Tanzania and deputised by Zimbabwe, ADPA has 19 members.