Jul 26, 2018

WDC Delegation Visits Angola, First Mission Outside Formal KP Meeting

A delegation of the World Diamond Council comprising WDC Acting President Stephane Fischler and Executive Director Marie-Chantal Kaninda visited Angola recently and held a series of meetings with stakeholders involved in the Kimberley Process (KP).

The visit was a follow-up to a meeting in Antwerp earlier this year between the WDC, AWDC and the President of Angola. The aim was to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities for African countries related to the KP, and is part of a larger programme that will cover all countries across the African continent that are part of KP.

Earlier, the WDC recently visited the Democratic Republic of Congo along with KP stakeholders. 

In Angola the delegation interacted with a number of officials associated with the KP and also had meetings with Eugenio P. Bravo Da Rosa, President of the Board of Directors of SODIAM, Angola's National Diamond Marketing Company, and Jose Ganga Junior, President of the Board of Directors of Endiama E.P., Empresa Nacional de Diamantes E.P., the national diamond company that is the exclusive concessionary of mining rights for diamonds in Angola.

At the invitation of the Minister of Mines, the visit included a tour to an Angolan diamond polishing factory.

“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,” said Stephane Fischler, Acting President of the World Diamond Council.

WDC and Angolan stakeholders discussed at length the important efforts underway today in Angola to formalize the artisanal mining sector, which is part of the country’s strategy to improve its position globally in the production and commercialization of diamonds.   Artisanal mining is an area of heightened focus globally. Though it only represents 20 percent in volume of overall diamond production worldwide, it is the area where the most progress is yet to be made with respect to safety, security and fair wages for diamond miners and their families.

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. 

Marie-Chantal Kaninda said, “There was strong support from the parties we met with and we feel that there is a recognition for the need for progress right alongside us. 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.”