My question “what is happening to Africa’s wealth?” is addressed in a newly released film “Blood Diamond”. Blood also known as war or conflict diamonds are part of an illicit trade which pays for arming an insurgency creating appalling conditions for those innocent people caught up in conflict. Where do they go? Well here’s one suggestion.
Never mind all that though, what of the “legitimate” traders. They bring morality into the trade don’t they? De Beers has been in the trade for years and is a highly respected company, that is in some quarters. They are very much aware of the illicit trade.
As I have reported before I saw evidence of Africans mining for precious stones and minerals 500 years back well before Rhodes talked Lobengula into mining rights on behalf of the British Empire and the entry of de Beers. They were engaged in trading, particularly with the Portuguese who were active in both Angola on the West Coast and Mozambique in the east.
Update. The film seems to have sent the diamond industry into tail spin. They claim the blood diamond is now history and that 99% are “clean”. Whatever the case it seems to me a dirty business!