Zimbabwe Diamond Conference to Discuss Challenges

ZDCHarare: The Second Zimbabwe Diamond Conference, to be held November 6-7, will feature three panel discussions featuring different aspects of the challenges facing the Zimbabwean diamond industry, as well as the wider global diamond trade. The seminar sessions will each feature experts in the area of discussion and aim to stimulate a wide-ranging debate among the African and global diamond industry participants.

The conference, organized by Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, in the capital, Harare, will focus on the theme ‘Completing Zimbabwe’s Diamond Potential for the Future’ and aims to present the progress made by the country’s diamond trade following its admission as a member of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in 2011. The inaugural Zimbabwe Diamond Conference took place at Victoria Falls in November, 2012.

The first panel discussion is entitled ‘From Zimbabwean Mines To The World’. It will feature Dr. Robert Mhlanga, Chairman Mbada Diamonds (Private) Ltd; Mr. Farai Mutamangira, Legal Advisor, Ministry of Mines and Mining Development of Zimbabwe; and Mr. Mark Van Bockstael, Chairman of the Working Group on Diamond Experts (WGDE).

Meanwhile, the second panel is called ‘Diamonds: Engine Of Local Beneficiation’. The panel members are Mr. Abbey Chikane, the First Chair of the Kimberley Process; Mr. Richard Mvududu, Chairperson, Diamond Beneficiation Association of Zimbabwe; Ms. Christine Gordon, Former UN Panel Expert on Angola; Prof. Francis Gudyanga, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Mines and Mining Development of Zimbabwe; Mr.Shamiso Mtisi, KP Civil Society Coalition Representative in Zimbabwe; and Mr.Tafadzwa Musarara, Resources Exploitation Watch.

And on the second day of the conference, there will be a panel debate on the subject of ‘Complementarities Between The OECD Due Diligence For Responsible Mineral Supply Chains And the KPCS’. Panel members are Mr. Sabyasachi Ray, Executive Director GJEPC; Mr. Paulo M’Vika, Chairman, Working Group of Artisanal and Alluvial Producers (WGAAP); Mr. Peter Meeus, Chairman of the Dubai Diamond Exchange; Mr. Tyler Gillard, Legal Expert, OECD Investment Division; Mr. Kennedy Hamutenya, Diamond Commissioner, Republic of Namibia; and Mr. Levy Rapoo, CEO, South African Diamonds and Precious Metals Regulator. All sessions will be moderated by diamond industry expert Chaim Even-Zohar.

The conference will be attended by African mining ministers, and will be hosted by Zimbabwe’s Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Walter K. Chidakwa, who will address the conference on behalf of the Zimbabwean government. In addition, global diamond industry leaders will deliver keynote speeches at the conference.

“This is an opportunity for representatives of government, civil society and diamond industry organizations to get a detailed understanding of the issues affecting our domestic diamond industry, but also of the wider diamond business,” said Prof. Francis Gudyanga. “These issues have not been specifically debated in Africa before. We believe that the high caliber of representatives from across the globe and from all parts of the supply chain shows the level of interest in our diamond trade and we hope this conference will act as a platform to take forward our national diamond trade.”