We Cannot Rely on Diamonds Forever: Namibia PM

Windhoek: The Namibian government said it is building a new economy for the future as it cannot rely on diamonds forever. Namibia had been mining diamonds since 1908 and its overall mining activity accounts for almost 8 percent of GDP.

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila told the visiting KP chairperson Ahmed Bin Sulayem that Namibia was looking into growing several sectors that would employ people in a range of industries and services.

“Natural resources have always been important to Namibia, especially diamonds, as they contribute a significant amount to our GDP,” she said.

“What is important about this is the funding that the diamond industry supplies to help Namibia diversify its economy. We cannot rely on diamonds forever, so this government is looking at ways to optimize benefits from diamonds to improve people’s lives while at the same time building a new economy for the future.”

Meanwhile, Bin Sulayem said KP was embracing the country’s new business framework to provide more jobs in the mining sector and other parts of the economy.

“This aligns well with our rough diamond valuation initiative,” he said. “Across the country, a robust infrastructure is in place, and business opportunities are emerging for the benefit of Namibia.”

Namibia, with unique alluvial diamond fields had seen small increases in diamond production over the last five years with close to 2 million carats being exported in 2015, according to KP. Production costs were initially relatively low, but they are rising as much more of its alluvial activity going offshore with a 60/40 split in favour of underwater extraction.