Following the EU’s lifting of its sanctions against the state-run miner Zimbabwe Mining Development Company (ZMDC) in September, a delegation of representatives from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and from Antwerp-based rough diamond trading companies met with Zimbabwean high officials and top representatives of the mining companies in Harare last week.
During a networking event, AWDC Chief Executive Officer Ari Epstein and AWDC President Stéphane Fischler met with Zimbabwe Minister of Mines and Mining Development Walter Chidhakwa and the country’s Minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa, as well as other Zimbabwean high officials, reports the AWDC. The networking event was set up to re-engage the ties between the two countries’ diamond sectors and to discuss future supply trade plans.
During his speech, Epstein thanked the European Community, represented by Ambassador Aldo Dell Ariccia, for its support of the Kimberley Process. “We are firmly convinced that in our industry, the relevance of the KP, especially considering its importance for the African producing countries, remains undisputed.”
Minister Chidhakwa also spoke of Zimbabwe’s commitment to sustaining transparency within the diamond sector and meeting KP requirements.
According to SW Radio Africa, following the meeting, officials said that the first batch of Zimbabwe rough diamonds were due to be exported to Belgium by the end of the year. A Zimbabwe delegation is also reportedly set to visit Antwerp’s diamond industry soon.