Bin Sulayem holds talks with senior government and army representatives with discussions centered on the country’s KP candidacy and rough diamond valuation
The UAE Kimberley Process Chair (KP Chair), Ahmed Bin Sulayem, has visited the Republic of Mozambique as part of his travels across the continent aimed at increasing the dialogue with African countries around the rough diamond trade and strengthening the KP’s mandate. Bin Sulayem met with a number of Mozambique’s senior government and army officials, including Filipe Nyusi, President; Carlos Agostinho do Rosário, Prime Minister; Domingos Artur, Permanent Secretary to the Minister of Culture and Tourism; and Chief of Staff, Army and Defence Forces.
During his visit, the UAE KP Chair’s talks with President Nyusi and the other senior officials centered on the government’s progress towards compliance with KP requirements, as well as best practices in rough diamond valuation. In recognition of his efforts, Bin Sulayem was commended with the Army and Defence Forces Plaque at their General Headquarters in Maputo on November 1, 2016.
Mozambique is not currently a member of the KP, but it is an aspiring candidate since it presented its membership portfolio back in 2012. Following the discovery of diamonds earlier this year in the Massangena district of the Gaza province, local authorities have undertaken efforts to garner more support for its candidacy in order to get clearance to export its conflict-free diamonds. While the country’s economy remains heavily dependent on agriculture accounting for around 25% of the total GDP, the export of precious metals and gemstones is emerging as one of the country’s major economic pillars. The discovery of diamonds will add to this vibrant sector, but the size of the Mozambican diamond resources remain undeclared for security reasons.
The country currently faces difficult headwinds that are further aggravated by regional drought, falling investments levels, as well as rising debt levels. According to the Mozambique Economic Update (MEU) report, foreign direct investment fell by 24% in 2015, exports declined by 14%, and growth decelerated to 6.3%. There is a need for foreign direct investment to accelerate the country’s significant, untapped potential.
Today, it is reported that several international mining companies have joined the country’s diamond exploration rush. And as such, receiving the KP approval stamp would allow the country to export diamonds and spur its economy.
“For years, the precious metals and gemstones sectors have been among the main drivers of the country’s growth and given the challenging economic conditions today, it is now more important than ever to extend our support to the Mozambican leaders to help them meet the KPCS requirements. At this stage, it is critical to ensure they have a firm understanding of best practices in rough diamond valuation thus stimulating better returns for the local population and miners, as well as provide them with a fair share of the country’s newly-found wealth”, said Bin Sulayem.
In a bid to strengthen the country’s KP candidacy and support its application, the Maputo government has approved a number of measures expected to enter into effect on November 20. These include the creation of a supervising agency, the Kimberley Process Management Unit, and a decree which regulates diamond, precious metals, and gem sales.