By ZBC Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has officially opened the Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the African Diamond Producing Countries in Victoria Falls this Thursday reminding the mining industry that it has a duty to be the catalyst in the transformation, competitiveness and socio-economic development and growth of African economies.
The President implored delegates to the forum to strengthen cooperation with regards to laws,policies and strategies with regards to prospecting, mining production, cutting and polishing of diamonds. He also called for greater information sharing among African diamond producing countries which will in turn result in a louder and more effective voice in the affairs of the global mining sector.
“The continued exportation of raw diamonds 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 jewellery and other accessories. This is long over due, now is the time for us as Africans to begin consolidating our footprints in the global diamond industry,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa took the opportunity to urge African governments to deliberately put in place mechanisms and resources to build infrastructure and establish a crop of diamond industry artisans.
“I further exhort the association to promote the harnessing of new technologies, our entrepreneurial culture and youthful human capital to maximise our potential as African diamond producing countries,” said President Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa noted that as Africa leapfrogs its industrialisation towards the African Union Agenda 2063, there is need to emphasise on sustainable development and African diamond producers must craft frameworks which regulate the environmental impact of diamond mining.
“Mining houses must be compelled to extract the mineral resources in an ecologically sustainable manner, in this regard, the restoration of former mines for other commercial ventures must be pursued more vigorously,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa explained that the country has set a target to achieve a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023 and said that the diamond industry is anticipated to contribute US$1 billion to the target.
“There is a clear reflection of the importance of diamond mining as a key mineral, towards our country’s attainment of the national vision of a prosperous and empowered upper middle income economy by the year 2030,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa said the country welcomes its role as the body’s incoming vice chair and subsequent chair and stands ready to play its part and advance aspirations and objectives of the organisation.
By ZBC Reporter