Zimbabwe’s diamond moment has come

The Chronicle

Leonard Ncube in Victoria Falls

A DECADE ago Zimbabwe could not freely sell its diamonds because of machinations of some of the members of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).

Fast forward to 2022, Zimbabwe is vice chair of two important organisations comprising diamond producing nations.

Zimbabwe assumed vice chairmanship of the Kimberley Process in November last year, deputising Botswana, and is set become chair this November.

The country also became vice chair of the Association of African Diamond Producing Countries (ADPA) last year, deputising Tanzania, and is set to assume the chair’s post in April next year.

Zimbabwe has been actively participating in committee meetings of the Kimberley Process since 2018 and is preparing for the inter-sessional meeting in Gaborone in June this year.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said it’s an honour for Zimbabwe to host the extra-ordinary meeting of ADPA Committee of Experts and Council of Ministers, which started on Wednesday and ends today.

Zimbabwe is a member of ADPA, an association, which was formed to further the interests of African diamond producers.

ADPA has 19 members, and 12 are attending the conference physically while the other seven are following virtually.

While Tanzania is chair and Zimbabwe vice chair, there is a Committee of Experts, Council of Ministers and Secretariat which is based in Luanda, Angola and attends to the day-to-today affairs of the association.

The Committee of Experts supervises the Secretariat and these are largely Government officials.

“Tanzania is the current chair and they are the ones who look at all the matters of the meeting. Zimbabwe takes over in April next year. Zimbabwe assumed vice chair last year and so did Tanzania and next year in April Zimbabwe will take over. Previously in ADPA, the terms for the chair and vice were on an annual basis but that has since changed to biannual,” said Minister Chitando.

He said member states are second people to the Committee of Experts, which is chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mines of the country.

ADPA meets at least once every year to review its activities and plan on matters of strategic importance. The Committee of Experts and Council of Ministers meetings are normally combined with the first set of meetings of the Committee of Experts and whatever matters that are discussed are compiled into a report submitted to the Council of Ministers to make decisions.

The Council of Ministers will release a communique today.

Formal proceedings started on Thursday with the official opening by President Mnangagwa. After the official opening Committee of Experts closed meetings started and are still underway.

About the Kimberley Process, Minister Chitando said: “Zimbabwe became vice chair of the Kimberly process in November last year and the chair is Botswana.  This is a separate organisation made up of three entities-Government, private sector and civil society. Zimbabwe is expected to take over its chair in November.”

The minister said the country is participating in its capacity as vice chair and at the moment is preparing for the June conference to be held in Gaborone, Botswana in June.

The Kimberly Process meets in June and November for the inter-session plenary meetings respectively.

Through activities of diamond stakeholders, Zimbabwe is also a member of the World Diamond Council, an umbrella body for the private sector of diamond industry, and an association which represents all producers, buyers, marketers, retailers and wholesalers of diamond.

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Article Source: The Chronicle

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