Diamonds are Africa's friend

2004-11-16 12:08

Johannesburg - Foreign diamond traders have a responsibility to enhance economic growth in Africa and eradicate perceptions that the precious stone, like oil, is a curse to many African states, government news agency BuaNews on Tuesday quoted President Thabo Mbeki as saying.

Appealing to Belgium's High Diamond Council (HDC) to make diamonds "Africa's best friend" on Monday, Mbeki said it was incumbent upon dealers to change the world's negative view of metals as a cause of instability, corruption, poverty and long-running conflicts in Africa, BuaNews said.

Diamonds and oil deposits abound in many of the countries, with some foreign dealers prepared to do everything including overthrowing governments to lay their hands on these minerals.

This, President Mbeki said, should come to an end.

Diamonds are a blessing

"Therefore, together we should do the things that would make it natural for us as Africans to speak of diamonds as a blessing, and heartily to sing the song we are still to compose - diamonds are Africa's best friend," he said.

Both African governments and foreign dealers ought to ensure that "no basis exists to accuse Africa of being the source of blood diamonds".

"Certainly we have to destroy the wrong belief among some that diamonds are a cause of conflict, as we have to ensure that diamonds are not misused to sustain destructive conflicts," he implored.

The former African Union chairperson was speaking at HDC's home in Antwerp, which is one of the top diamond-cutting centres in the world.

The love for diamonds has on many instances fuelled and prolonged conflicts in countries such as Angola, Sierra Leone and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Many foreign multinational companies stand accused by among others, the United Nations for sponsoring rebels by trading arms for raw diamonds.

In 1998, HDC - the world's trading centre for rough diamonds - registered imports of 777 000 carats from Sierra Leone alone.

Mbeki said since diamonds were important to Africa as they provided employment, much needed foreign exchange and tax revenue, it was crucial for foreign dealers to help reconstruct some of these affected countries' economic and social infrastructure.

"... it is both incumbent upon, and would be of benefit to the international diamond industry to support and invest in the beneficiation and value-adding projects in African diamond producing countries to ensure economic sustainability beyond the depletion of the diamond resources," Mbeki said.

It was important to restructure and transform the multimillion-dollar industry in Africa to enable it to embrace good corporate citizenship, be responsive to poverty alleviation, economic empowerment as well as being a leading force in value adding investments in Africa.

President Mbeki continues with his visit to Europe on Tuesday, meeting among others, the High Representative of the EU's Commission on Foreign and Security Policy.

NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Delft - 20:37 PM
    Road name: R300 Southbound
    ROADWORKS - left lane closed at Hindle Road
  • Wednesday Sir Lowry's Pass - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900

The Blackberry Bold Touch 9900 is as the name says...

From R3565.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.