De Beers and the Government of Namibia signed a new, six years, sales agreement.
Included in the agreement is the establishment of a 50:50 joint venture that will be responsible for the valuing, sorting, selling, and marketing of Namdeb’s diamond production — the Namibia Diamond Trading Company.
The agreement secures the sale of Namibia’s diamonds through the Diamond Trading Company (DTC) until 2013.
The Namibia government and De Beers have noted they are committed to the creation of a sustainable and flourishing downstream diamond industry. To this end, NDTC will sell rough diamonds to local cutting and polishing factories as well as export to DTC in London. Working together with Namibian-based diamond manufacturers, NDTC will also support local marketing initiatives. The new agreement will ensure that up to $300 million worth of diamonds will be made available locally by 2009; representing close to 5 percent of Namibia’s Gross Domestic Product.
The news release announcing the agreement supplied some figures about the role diamonds play in the Namibian economy:
Diamonds account for more than 40% of the country’s export revenue, 7% of the government revenue and approximately 10% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
Namibia produces approximately N$5 billion (US$700,000) worth of diamonds per year
With almost 3,200 employees, Namdeb is Namibia’s largest employer, supporting more than 40,000 workers.
Namdeb contributes approximately N$2 million (US$300,000) in corporate social development projects annually in Namibia, principally in the areas of education, small business, community development, and health, particularly in HIV/Aids prevention.