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Izhakoff says international cooperation, investment key for development of Zim diamond industry

12 november 2014

The honorary World Diamond Council president Eli Izhakoff said the massive development of Zimbabwe’s natural diamond resources, which would ensure that they will continue to generate growth and development over the long term, requires international cooperation and investment. 
He told a diamond conference in Harare last week that this was the nature of the diamond industry today and the business world in general.
“But there should be no shortage of interested parties. Zimbabwe offers the prospect of substantial and continuing rough diamond production in a market, where over the next two decades demand is forecast to outpace supply,” he said.
“Bain & Co. has estimated that demand for polished diamonds will expand by 6.4 percent in terms of value annually over the next decade, while rough diamond supply fr om known sources will only grow at a compound annual rate of 2 percent.  This makes for an irresistible business prospect, which is good news for Zimbabwe.”
Izhakoff said Zimbabwe’s future as an important producer would be enhanced if it was seen to be an active participant in the campaign to ensure that diamonds are not a source of conflict, but rather a source of growth, development and prosperity.
He also said that Africa was not subservient to the diamond pipeline.
“This continent no longer can be considered a place whose primary role is to produce raw materials that are processed and sold elsewh ere,” he said.
“The recent transfer of De Beers’ diamond trading headquarters from London to Gaborone was an event of historic significance, for it shifted the decision-making capacity in the rough diamond business from Europe to Africa.    
“I strongly believe that the Kimberley Process, and the types of discussions that we had with Zimbabwe, contributed to the remarkable change that has taken place in recent years.”
Zimbabwe's share of African production stood at 15.2 percent by volume in 2013, and accounted for 8 percent of global output, making the country the world’s sixth largest producer.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished