Ministers and senior government officials held a one-day meeting in Africa recently to discuss the good diamonds are doing for their countries.
A statement from the conference, organized by the De Beers Group, said, “Sixty-five percent of the world’s diamonds are produced in Africa, contributing more than $8.4 billion per year to the continent. Revenues from diamonds have helped to fund the construction of hospitals, medical centers and hospices, ensuring that more than five million people worldwide have access to appropriate healthcare. In southern Africa alone, the diamond industry employs more than 28,000 people.
Erkki Nghimtina, Namibia’s minister of Mines and Energy, said, “Every diamond not purchased is a missed chance for Africa. A missed opportunity to send more children to school, build more clinics and hospitals and continue the fight against HIV/AIDS … Our challenge is to work together to strengthen the continent’s diamond industry so that we can better provide for our people, enabling us all to share a brighter future. This workshop gives us the opportunity to do so.”