Marking the first World Diamond Council (WDC) mission to Angola outside of a formal Kimberley Process (KP) meeting, acting president Stephane Fischler and executive director Marie-Chantal Kaninda travelled to Angola for a series of meetings with stakeholders involved in the KP, last week.
The WDC on Tuesday noted that Angola’s second-largest export is diamonds, amounting to gross revenues to Angola of about $1.1-billion.
“With diamonds being such a critical part of African economies, I cannot underscore enough how critical it is to listen and engage directly not only to help reach a more sustainable global diamond industry, but one that brings back to local communities the social and economic benefits they rightly deserve and ensures fair income for African governments and their trading partners,” Fischler said.
He elaborated that the mission is another example of the WDC’s commitment to this process and to fulfilling the duty of care owed to local communities where diamonds are produced, as well as to global consumers.
One-on-one discussions with KP stakeholders focused on the ongoing reform of the KP, including the challenges and opportunities related to the scope of the definition of conflict diamonds.
The WDC and Angolan stakeholders discussed the important efforts under way in Angola to formalise the artisanal mining sector. This effort is part of the country’s strategy to improve its position globally in the production and commercialisation of diamonds.
Discussions concluded with broad support from the Angolan representatives for reform of the KP process, as well as support for the establishment of the KP permanent secretariat.
“We are very happy with the success of our visits to both the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola,” Kaninda said.
She added that there was strong support from the parties the WDC met with, highlighting the need for progress right alongside the council.
“We are encouraged by the open and honest character of the discussions and thankful for the warm and generous hospitality. As we begin to plan more visits with other African governments to raise awareness around ethical artisanal mining production, I am confident that, together, we will achieve the goals of improved prosperity for diamond producing nations, communities and citizens”.source:miningweekly