Diamond Conference; Is Diamond A Blessing Or Curse?
2004: Diamond Conference And Views Of President Thabo Mbeki
Speaking at the Antwerp Diamond Conference, South African President Thabo Mbeki said that the diamond industry needs to help African countries create local jobs and boost development.
He noted that, for many in Africa, diamonds are seen as a “curse,” although he was pleased to see the industry’s efforts to end “conflict diamonds.”
“We are happy that the campaign against conflict diamonds has been strengthened through the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which should fundamentally restructure the way that diamond entrepreneurs do business, especially in Africa,” he said. “We have to destroy the wrong belief among some that diamonds are a cause of conflict and together we should do the things that would make it natural for use to speak of diamonds as a blessing, and to heartily sing the song we are still to compose - diamonds are Africa's best friend.”