Namibia Assumes Chairmanship of Association of African Diamond Producing Countries
Namibia has assumed chairmanship of the Association of African Diamond Producing Countries (ADPA) at the conclusion of the body’s 6th meeting that took place this week in Windhoek, South Africa, according to reports in the local media.
On behalf of his country, Tom Alweendo, Mines and Energy Minister, officially accepted the post from the outgoing chair, Republic of Guinea. Namibia was vice chair of the ADPA during Guinea’s chairmanship.
The meeting also discussed various issues of the diamond producer countries as well as the overall situation in the industry. The new chair said that the ADPA had potential to help individual countries capitalise on and benefit from the diamonds mined in their territory.
Addressing the opening session, Alweendo was reported to have stressed on the need to add value to the diamonds and ensure that they helped in the overall industrialisation of each country where they have been discovered.
He was quoted as stating, “If exploited in a responsible and sustainable manner… diamond generated income (can be) … is channelled towards building of educational and health institutions, improving road and network infrastructure and meeting other pressing social-economic needs.”
The minister also reportedly referred to some of the “dynamic threats and challenges” that the industry faces, such as the introduction of synthetic diamonds into the market; increased mechanisation of mining processes that negatively impact employment and consequently the livelihood of mining dependent communities; inadequate management of diamond related revenue; weak regulatory and institutional frameworks in particular law enforcement, lack of sufficient technical capacity; lack of transparency and accountability to combat illicit activities, etc.”
In this context he stressed the need for “developing the diamond downstream industry” and the “mainstreaming of alluvial artisanal and small-scale miners into the formal economies”.
The ADPA was set up in 2006 and comprises 18 countries, of which 12, where diamonds are already being produced, are effective members and six, where there is geological potential for diamonds with the countries possibly becoming producers in the future, are observers.