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Geingob wants win-win relationship for Namibia’s diamonds

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Namibian President Hage Geingob during a recent visit to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre in Belgium. Image credit: AWDC

Geingob wants win-win relationship for Namibia’s diamonds 

Namibian president Hage Geingob wants a win-win partnership in a diamond sector that generates revenue and creates jobs for the Namibian people.

Geingob outlined his vision for Namibia’s precious mineral industry during a recent visit to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDA) in Belgium. The visit included a tour to the Diamond Office, where the president and Tom Alweendo, Namibia’s Minister of Mines and Energy, had an opportunity to inspect a shipment of Namibian goods.

Geingob said that Namibia’s diamond industry is something that should make all Namibians proud, and it should benefit the entire Namibian population.

Namibia is an important trade partner of the Antwerp diamond industry. The country ranks as the sixth largest diamond producer in the world and in 2020, produced more than 1.5 million carats, valued at USD720,4-million. Most of its rough diamond production comes from marine sources: diamonds that are found on the ocean floor because of river movements and ancient tidal basin flows.

Diamonds play a significant role in trade between Antwerp and Namibia. Last year, direct bilateral diamond trade between the two amounted to about USD133-million.

Maximising the value of Namibia’s precious resources  

CEO at AWDC, Ari Epstein, said that they are in discussions about how to maximise the value of Namibia’s precious resources via the Antwerp market.

“Through innovation, implementing the highest standards of due diligence, and creating a comfortable business environment, we have succeeded in building a robust home for diamond producers, traders, manufacturers, and retail,” Epstein said.

Antwerp is a high-performing market for diamond trade, especially for rough diamonds. In the past two years, companies like the Okavango Diamond Company, owned by the government of Botswana, started selling their rough diamonds in Antwerp. “By doing so, they were not only able to keep operations going, but more importantly, they realised a much welcome premium on sales results,” said Epstein.

AWDC recently published its year results for 2021, with total trade amounting to more than 37 billion dollars, confirming its position as the largest and most important diamond trading hub in the world. This first post-pandemic result exceeded the 2019 figures, pushing the diamond trade back in an upward growth path.

According to Tom Neys, spokesperson for AWDC, the Namibian government is looking to create more value with their diamond production.

“That is why this is visit was so important. It shows that AWDC can consistently offer top prices. Other diamond producing countries like Botswana have already adapted their trade strategy and started to export more diamonds to Antwerp,” says Neys.

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