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India to Set up Training in Africa for Cutting, Polishing Skills

26 march 2009

In a step that aims to add bilateral ties and help Africa's diamond industry move up the value chain, India is planning to set up diamond cutting and polishing training units in Africa, RAPAPORT reported. "As part of our philosophy of sharing our knowledge with others, and in pursuance of our policy to increase capacity building in Africa, my government has favorably considered the request of some African countries to set up diamond cutting and polishing institutes for training of their personnel in cutting and polishing skills," said Pranab Mukherjee, external affairs minister.
Mukherjee was speaking at the India-Africa Project Conclave, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry and EXIM Bank. Nearly 450 Africans, including businessmen, ministers and officials, as well as 300 Indians, are participating in the conclave, which aims at expanding business ties between India and Africa. India is the world's largest importer of rough diamonds and exporter of cut and polished diamonds, accounting for 90 percent of the international market. India sources most of its raw diamonds from Africa.
The training institutes are part of India's broader commitment to African countries to help them move up the value chain. India has also offered its expertise in mining technologies to African diamond-producing countries like Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). India and Namibia are already discussing setting up a training facility to polish and cut diamonds — a step that could lead to direct imports of diamonds from Africa to India, cutting out middlemen along the way.
Most of the diamond trade in Africa is controlled by multinationals. India sees the Africanization of the diamond processing industry not as a threat, but an opportunity. India is one of the founder members of the Kimberley Certification Process Scheme (KPCS).