A delegation of 20 Antwerp-based diamond company CEOs arrived in the Angolan capital of Luanda on 10th May, on a two-day mission organised by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the Belgian Embassy under the auspices of the Angolan Ministry of Minerals and Petroleum (MIREMPET). AWDC noted that the mission signalled a renewed interest from Antwerp and Angola to collaborate more closely in the diamond industry.
In 2018, on a visit to Antwerp, Angola’s President Joao Lourenço acknowledged that hardly any of Angola’s rough diamonds were traded directly on the Antwerp market for decades. He also called on the Angolan diamond industry to collaborate closely with Antwerp.
Since then, the Angolan administration has enacted a series of reforms to create a more transparent and sustainable diamond industry to allow the country to maximise revenue and further develop its diamond reserves.
The two-day visit of Antwerp-based traders, specialist manufacturers, miners, tender houses and boiling experts marks a next step in the Angolan-Antwerp partnership.
Chaim Pluczenik, President of the AWDC, said, “Antwerp is fully aligned with President Lourenço’s reforms to increase transparency but also to create added value for the diamond industry here in Angola. Producers across the globe bring their rough diamonds to Antwerp first … yet barely 10% of Angola’s rough diamonds find their way to Antwerp’s open market today.”
In a packed programme, the Antwerp delegation members met with the Minister for Mineral Resources, Azevedo as well as with Endiama and Sodiam Presidents Ganga Jr. and Bravo da Rosa and other Angolan industry stakeholders, engaging in one-on-one business meetings during formal and informal meetings throughout the two-day visit.
On 11th May, the delegation paid a visit to the Saurimo development site, where the government, together with Endiama, Sodiam and private stakeholders are building a diamond hub that focuses on training and education and local, sustainable beneficiation initiatives.