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Thursday, July 18, 2024

KPCS meeting kicks off

Story by Tichaona Kurewa

THE Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) plenary meeting got underway in Victoria Falls this Tuesday, with delegates from across the globe deliberating on various ways to improve the diamond trade.

This comes at a time when it has been confirmed that Botswana will host the secretariat offices in an endorsement of gems from the region.

It also emerged that plans to establish the secretariat’s permanent home in Botswana are also in progress.

Kimberly Process Permanent Secretariat Taskforce chairperson, Mr Wim Soons said, “It is an important symbolism, we have Zimbabwe who is this year the chair of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, on the other hand, we have the new permanent secretariat for KPCs which will be in Africa, Botswana. These are the two examples of the African leadership. We discussed for a few years and the more we discussed there was more and more support for Botswana which I think is logical because Botswana is the number one producer of diamonds in the world by value.”

“It’s a testimony to the work that Botswana has done, it’s a poster child in terms of good governance of diamonds and that is why they got the confidence of the industry, participating governments, and civil society. Botswana is one of us, it’s our neighbour, we celebrate that achievement’s success story,” said Centre for Natural Resource Governance director, Mr Farai Maguwu.

The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Honourable Zhemu Soda said, “It will be proper for Botswana to host this secretariat and being a neighbour, we have a lot to share with them even in their development of own diamond sector in the country.”

The four-day plenary meeting which has attracted 59 member countries out of 85 will be officially opened by Vice President, Kembo Mohadi this Wednesday.

Zimbabwe is the current chair of the KPCS, a development described by analysts as an endorsement of the country’s diamond industry and fruits of the engagement and re-engagement drive by the Second Republic.

Under the KPCS, two meetings are held within a year, the inter-sessional meeting midway through the year and the plenary meeting held towards the end of the year.

The inter-sessional engagement is a closed-door meeting, while the plenary session is public.

A communique is shared and presented to the United Nations the following year.

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