Ghana’s mines’ minister said the country is now in accord with the Kimberley Process, after reports that illicit diamonds from the Ivory Coast continue to enter the country.
“We have put in place very strict structures … When the [Kimberley Process inspection] team comes they will be happy,” Dominic Fobih, minister of Lands, Forestry, and Mines, told Reuters. “We took the matter very seriously. We have obligations to fulfill … The image of this country would be damaged if it were associated with the war in the Ivory Coast.”
If the team is not satisfied with the new controls, Ghana may face suspension from the process. If such a suspension occurs, Ghana will join other diamond producing countries such as Liberia and the Ivory Coast, which cannot currently sell their diamonds under Kimberley.
The issue of Ghana’s controls came after it was discovered that rebels in northern Ivory Coast are mining diamonds and selling them in Ghana and Mali. The diamonds are then brought into Ghana’s customs as locally mined goods and receive Kimberley Process certificates, allowing them to enter the legitimate diamond trade.