WINDHOEK, November 4, 2015- The World’s leaders in the Diamond Industry will come together in Africa’s best-kept secret, Namibia, for the International Diamond Conference 2015 from 24 to 27 November.The Conference is themed: Omugongo, A Cut above the Rest. This prestigious event will be held at the Safari Conference Centre in the capital.This summit of Speakers from across the world is a unique forum for dialogue and cooperation between industry leaders at the highest level. The overall theme of the Conference will focus on the “Challenges facing diamond beneficiation in Southern Africa: How can we make this industry viable and sustainable.”
OMUGONGO is a great tree under which society comes together to discuss matters affecting the community in a democratic manner.
The Namibian government has a 50-50 joint venture partnership with the De Beers Group and together have implemented a long-term economic development plan that aims to build a self-sustainable national gem-cutting industry. This will ensure the sustainability of an industry that accounts for about 30 per cent of Namibia’s annual export revenue, bringing funds into the country to improve infrastructure, childhood education and healthcare in local communities.
In order to protect the marine ecology and the coastal areas in which most of Namibia’s diamonds are found, international environmental standards are strictly followed in diamond mining activities. Namibia’s comprehensive environmental management plan has been independently verified as ISO 14001 compliant, ensuring long-term ecological and economical sustainability of mining areas. “Namibia’s Atlantic coast area holds an estimated 80 million carats of gems, which were carried to the sea by the Orange River and could be mined beyond 2050,” Hamutenya, Diamond Commissioner for the Republic of Namibia.
The highest quality diamonds and one of the World’s largest alluvial diamond deposits are found in Namibia. “Namibia’s diamonds fetch the highest prices because they are of high quality, pure carbon, spotless and they don’t disintegrate…what we don’t have in quantity is made up in quality,” Kennedy Hamutenya said in 2014.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy Hon. Obeth Mbul Kandjoze (MP) will open the two-day Conference. Industry expert Chaim Even-Zohar will be coordinating the conference. Speakers include: Walter Chidakwa, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development of the Republic of Zimbabwe; Shihaleni E Ndjaba, CEO at Namibia Diamond Trading Company (Pty) Ltd; Burhan Seber, President of the Diamond Manufacturers Association of Namibia (DIAMAN); Kombadayedu Kapwanga, President of the Chamber of Mines of Namibia; and many others.
During the conference, the National Earth Science Museum at the Ministry of Mines and Energy will showcase some prestigious pieces of the Shining Lights Diamond Design Collection, some crafted by award-winning Namibian designers.
This Exhibition, entitled The Heritage Journey, will illustrate the process that every diamond goes through: starting at the mine and arriving as a finished jewelry piece. The beneficiation chain affecting all layers of the community – will be represented by professionals from the diamond cutters and the manufacturers associations, who during the exhibition, will show how diamonds are being cut and transformed into jewellery.
Both Namibians and international delegates will benefit from the Museum, as it promotes knowledge of geosciences and serves as a repository of Namibia’s minerals, rocks, meteorites and fossils through the display of rocks and minerals, Namibian mines, meteorites and fossils. Throughout this time the new edition of “The Diamond Journey” book, realised under the leadership of the Diamond Board of Namibia, will also be launched.
At the end of the Conference, participants will be attending a Gala Dinner exclusively hosted at the Parliament Gardens, courtesy of the National Assembly. Her Excellency, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has been invited to open the ceremony. Michelle McLean-Bailey, former Miss Namibia and Miss Universe will be the host of the prestigious evening. Michelle is also a philanthropist and founder of a number of charitable organisations, including the Michelle McLean Primary School and the Michelle McLean Children’s Trust, both in Namibia, growing opportunities for children through education.
According to Mr Hamutenya, the Diamond Board of Namibia is proud to be hosting this event, to show the world the hidden jewel that is Namibia and the role that the Board plays in this industry. This responsibility includes the Board advisory role to the Minister of Mines and Energy on any matters relating to the diamond industry and the facilitation of the industry’s promotion and protection.