via Mbeki to attend Zim diamond conference – Radio Dialogue October 23, 2014 by Lesley Moyo
FORMER South African President Thabo Mbeki is scheduled to participate at the Zimbabwe Diamond Conference in Harare to be held between November 6 and 7 as the county is struggling to crawl out of a decade long economic decline.
The first-ever diamond conference was in 2012 in Victoria Falls after the country was admitted as a member of the Kimberley Certification Scheme in 2011.
The Ministry of Mines and Mining Development of Zimbabwe is hosting the conference under the theme “Completing Zimbabwe’s Diamond Potential for the Future.”.
According to a notice, Mbeki is listed among eminent industry leaders drawn from the lucrative diamond industry expected to attend.
Three of the world diamond industry leaders have confirmed their participation and they include World Federation of Diamond Bourses president Ernie Blom and CIBJO president Gaetano Cavalieri.
Other dignitaries include Ngoako Ramatlhodi, South Africa Minister of Mineral Resources, Isak Katali Namibia Minister of Mines and Energy, Martin Kabwelulu Labilo, Democratic Republic of the Congo Minister of Mining and Bernardo Campos, the vice chair of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
However, Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) said on its website that the management of natural resources such as minerals should be focused on the future gains due to the “finite” nature of the resources hence the need for good corporate governance.
“The Government of Zimbabwe needs to ensure that capacity building for contract negotiation is prioritised with regard to natural resources.
“Due to the finite nature of some natural resources, the effect of poorly negotiated contracts can be detrimental.
“Public participation (in line with s. 141 of the Constitution) and Parliamentary oversight should be central in contract negotiation.
“Failure to recognise the full economic potential of natural resources is tantamount to outsourcing labour in a country where the unemployment rate is estimated to be circa 90%,” it said.