By Tichaona Kurewa
AFRICAN diamond producing countries say diamonds are an important pillar to the continent’s economic development agenda, with priority being placed on scaling up value addition of the precious stone.
Vice President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who spoke at the official opening of the Extraordinary Association of African Diamond Producing Countries (ADPA) meeting in Victoria Falls this Thursday, reiterated that diamonds are a vital cog in Africa’s economic development.
“Zimbabwe is expecting the diamond industry to contribute one billion towards the $12 billion mining economy by 2023. Vision 2030 can be realised with collaboration of government, private sector and CSOs,” said Vice President Chiwenga.
Tanzania Deputy Minister of Minerals Steven Kuruswa weighed in, saying diamonds promote sustainable development.
“The meeting will look into the reform process following the initial meeting. ADPA attaches great importance to diamonds as it promotes sustainable economic development for Africa,” he said
Matabeleland North Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Richard Moyo and Mines and Mining Development Minister, Winston Chitando added their voices on the importance of diamonds in Zimbabwe’s economic development.
“Indications are that Mat North Province has Diamond deposits, exploratory works to determine the extent are currently underway, Mat North is geared towards contributing significantly to the US$12 billion mining economy,” said Minister Moyo.
“Zimbabwe diamond sub sector is expected to contribute US$1 billion annually, the mining sector in Zimbabwe is a critical pillar towards the attainment of an empowered and prosperous upper middle income economy by 2030 as enunciated by President Mnangagwa,” said Minister Chitando.
One of the main objectives of ADPA is to enable cooperation between member countries in policies and strategies concerning prospecting, mining, production, cutting and polishing as well as development of human resources and acquisition of technologies in the diamond sector.
By Tichaona Kurewa