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‘Add Value To Diamonds’
Posted on: 18-Jul-2012         Source: dailyguideghana.com
Ghana’s Land and Natural Resources Minister, Mike Allen Hammah, has urged diamond producers in Africa to add value to the gems before exporting them.

A value added gem, he pointed, would yield higher returns when sold on the world market.

Hon. Hammah told participants at the fourth ordinary meeting of the council of minister of African Diamond Producers Association in Accra that the continent needed to make conscious efforts to derive maximum benefits from its natural resources.

“The situation whereby our natural resources are exported in the raw state to create jobs abroad to our detriment must be seriously addressed.”

He noted that Africa should build strong partnerships based on mutual respect to address the developmental challenges that confront it “and not depend on handouts.”

Africa accounts for about 60 per cent of the world’s rough diamond production and “we have no excuse to continue exporting this non-renewable resources out of our various countries in its rough state.”

He advised Diamond producers in Africa to ensure better value addition to the mineral for use in local jewellery industries and export the excess.

Such a move, he said, would guarantee that the continent fully gains benefits from the mining sector.

Diamond cutting and polishing, he point out, is a multi-billion dollar business worldwide and “it is time we should leave no stone unturned to position ourselves in order to derive the benefits associated with this industry.”

He called for the pursuit of policies that would lay emphasis on deriving greater benefit from the raw material and creating more jobs for the people in order to facilitate the social-economic development of the various countries.

African Diamond Producers Association is an inter-governmental association that was founded to champion the cause of diamond producing countries on the continents.

The association has since its establishment facilitated the peaceful resolution of impasse over the issue of compliance with the minimum standards of the Kimberly process certification scheme in the diamond producing countries such as Zimbabwe which was banned from exporting diamond to the international market.

Kimberly process is a joint government, industry and civil society initiative to stem the flow of conflict diamonds- rough diamonds used by rebels or governments- from entering the mainstream market.