Diamond producers urged to unite

Mankenda Ambroise was opening the first meeting of experts that are tackling aspects linked to the preparation of technical and legal conditions for the setting up of the African Diamond Producing Countries Association (ADPA) late this year.

In his address, Mankenda Ambroise made positive remarks about the Kimberley process, adding that the fight against the conflict diamonds and trafficking has left evidence that the more the African countries become united, the more effective their results in the defence of common interests will be.

“Today, it is recognised that in the whole world the diamonds of conflict have almost ceased to exist in the African vocabulary, having become diamonds of prosperity of our countries and peoples,” he stressed on Tuesday.

He also underlined that Angola has taken the initiative of leading the process of realising this objective, and welcomed the presence at the meeting of representatives from South Africa, Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Mauritania, Namibia, CAR, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

The constitution and proclamation of ADPA, he said, will turn Africa into a continent of reference in the rational development and management of diamond resources, will provide a better knowledge of its potential and the exchange of information and technology, in addition to reinforcing the exchange among the member countries, within the framework of the Kimberly process.

According to figures released by the deputy minister, the continent has 19 countries with diamond resources, 18 of which are diamond producers.

But, he added that despite their overall production of 60 percent of the raw diamond of the world market, the continent member countries have a poor participation in defining international strategies.

Paradoxically, he added, Africa is the continent faced with the worse situations of misery and famine and episodes of political and economic instability, as the leading role of the process has been in the hands of consumer countries.

The deputy minister mentioned the creation of the Association as an Africa’s remarkable challenge in favour of the sustainable development of its diamond producing member states and the well-being of their populations.

“This meeting can serve as a starting point in the long journey that enables Africa, with a new structuring vision, set safe steps, permitting it an active voice and take the deserved position in the world’s diamond industry,” stressed the official.

According to the deputy minister, the continent’s mineral resources can significantly contribute to the effective reduction of poverty and to its socio-economic development, as there have all along been on the basis of the progressive growth of humanity.

ADPA is intended to congregate the diamond producing countries and the major diamond producers into a specific forum for concert, through a standing cooperation among members, aiming at a sustainable growth of the countries and of the continent.

The meeting of experts reviewed projects under the Luanda Declaration, the association’s statute draft, the budget for the establishment of the executive secretariat and the criteria for selection of members and functioning mechanisms. ‘ Angop.

September 2006
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