!2 diamond producing African countries met in Luanda, Angola’s capital, with observers from 7 others attending.
Although Africa produces 60% of the world’s diamonds. led by Botswana, control is another matter and there is a significant illicit trade.
“Manuel Africano, Angola’s mining minister, said that despite the large amount of diamonds produced in Africa, the continent ‘had no say in world diamond commerce strategies’.
Africano said Africa, which includes the world’s largest diamond producer Botswana, generated about $158 billion a year from the trade of 1.9 billion karats.
The diamond industry represents 33 per cent of Botswana’s gross domestic product, while Angola produces almost $1 billion worth of diamonds annually and aims to double its production in the next year.
Conflict diamonds have long fuelled African wars, with armed factions selling gems to raise funds for weapons.”
“In 2002, the United Nations backed the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, a programme launched to certify the origins of rough gems. It allows the diamond industry to block stones mined in conflict zones from sale in overseas markets.
The Kimberley Process’s 45 participants account for approximately 99.8 per cent of the global production of rough diamonds.”