By Anna Ingwafa and Surihe Gaomas WINDHOEK Namibia was chosen as an investment destination for the establishment of the LLD Diamond factory because of its excellent investment climate. The country is also well known for producing the best gem quality diamonds in the world by value. This was said by Komba-dayedu Kapwanga, the Managing Director of LLD Diamond Namibia at the celebration of its second anniversary in Windhoek last Friday. Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Mines and Energy, Erkki Nghimtina, Deputy Diamond Commissioner Vicky Niku-Paavola praised LLD Diamond for its faith in Namibia as an ideal destination for investment. “As a reminder before the company was established, the ideal of an established diamond manufacturing industry in Namibia was only but a daydream. Those who dared to speak about downstream beneficiation of our diamonds were ridiculed and scorned with contempt. But there were those brave individuals who believed in themselves and who had enough courage to dream of a day when the wholesale export of Namibia’s rough diamonds would become nothing but the past,” Niku-Paavola explained. She added that before the establishment of LLD, there was not an existing workforce in Namibia capable of cutting diamonds, but today young people are skilled with knowledge they will posses for life and have entered in the workforce. In light of this, Niku-Paavola encouraged trainees to work diligently and professionally while mastering their skills instead of just rushing for money. The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Bernard Esau outlined the company’s achievements saying that LLD during the past two years has been providing skills and knowledge to its employees through skills-transfer. Esau also dismissed the notion that the African continent where most of the diamonds are found is not ideal for diamond polishing. “I am informed that the vision of LLD Namibia is to show these prophets of doom that it is indeed economically viable for Africans to polish their own diamonds. I see the LLD factory and its employees as an army in the revolution which is aimed at making the whole of Africa, starting with Namibia, aware that if we add value to our own diamonds we can create employment and wealth for our nations,” Esau said. He hoped that LLD is going to advance to the level of diamond jewellery manufacturing and even branding of Namibian diamonds. Esau’s words of encouragement to trainees were: “Namibia is known as a land of the brave and not the land of the lazy or poor performers. There should be zero tolerance to laziness and poor performance. In business, one has to work hard if one wants to succeed. They say to live like a king, you must work like a slave.” The company currently employs more than 500 Namibians trained in cutting and polishing diamonds. Last year, 283 trainees graduated and on Friday more that 40 trainees received their diplomas. The company spends about N$250 000 a month on training alone. So far, N$70-million has been invested in the construction of the company’s facilities. The Founding President of the Republic of Namibia, Dr Sam Nujoma and Lev Leviev of the Leviev Group officially inaugurated LLD Diamond Namibia in 2004. The company has ten more factories worldwide.
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