This year’s Mining Expo and Conference introduced a new concept for the country when organisers decided to place all players in the diamond value chain under one roof in what they called a Diamond Hub.
Although the concept of a diamond hub is not new to the diamond sector across the globe, it is, indeed, a new concept for Namibia.
“What you have collectively achieved with the diamond hub is, indeed, in line with the government’s vision for the establishment of a downstream diamond industry in a professional, socially responsible, commercially viable and sustainable manner that satisfies the aspirations of government, the international diamond industry and other important key stakeholders,” said Mines and Energy Minister Obeth Kandjoze when he launched the hub on Wednesday.
The diamond hub provides adequate and up-to-date information to visitors about who performs what functions in the diamond value chain, from prospecting and mining to the cutting and polishing of the precious stones.
“In creating a one-stop-shop, you are without doubt demonstrating the fact that there are collaborative ways and means, as well as profound goodwill among the players in the sector. Let us, therefore, continue to work towards creating standards which are amongst the best in the world to earn our rightful place not just as a diamond producing country but one stellar of note,” said Kandjoze.
He added that the long-term benefits of a diamond hub are that it will contribute towards drawing attention to new investments from diamond technology companies, global cutting and polishing companies and draw investment from diamond-buyers and services to support them.
“As I stated on a previous occasion, the government appreciates the fact that downstream beneficiation in Namibia can only be successful on the back of a successful tripartite partnership between the government, NDTC and the cutting and polishing industry. The government will continue to play an active role in helping to create a conducive environment that will support sustainable growth of downstream beneficiation in Namibia,” said Kandjoze.
The minister further noted that as part of the government’s role and responsibility, his ministry will focus on effective monitoring of rough exports and imports, while exploring ways to streamline the process governing the movement of rough diamonds within the borders of the country and supporting services to the industry.
“It is crucial for us all to use the non-renewable diamond resources to foster long-term economic growth through the private sector to create fiscal sustainability, in light of approaching resource depletion and also to make the most of the remaining diamond deposits,” Kandjoze concluded.