Napoleon Koroma Talks Tough on Diamond Beneficiation & Value Addition

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Umaru Napoleon Koroma vehemently denounced the practice of mining and exportation of diamonds from diamond-rich African countries without adding value to bring increased revenue to these countries. He made that denouncement on Wednesday 13th March, 2024 at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe as Guest Speaker at the Intra-Africa Dialogue on Rough Diamonds Beneficiation and Value Addition.

He highlighted how it is high time the continent rejects what he described as “the outdated practice of dig and ship” of its precious diamonds reiterating that mineral rich nations have lagged behind as a result of their inability to fully harness their mineral potentials.

Umaru Napoleon Koroma, who has now become a well- known advocate against foreign exploitation of Africa’s natural resources, said only a small number of countries like South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Angola have been able to add value to their rough diamonds and this has had a  significant impact on the economies.

To that end, the Deputy Minister believes it is imperative for nations to prioritize the establishment of local diamond beneficiation industries if they were to have a competitive advantage in global markets. He posited that consequently the adoption of cutting technologies will be central in achieving that goal. “It is of utmost importance that beneficiation and value-addition processes within the diamond value chain takes place within the respective countries to maximize economic contribution,” he reiterated.

Umaru Napoleon Koroma also re-emphasized the need for new laws and policy frameworks that would reflect  the will of citizens and expressed the  hope that issues discussed at the event are translated into tangible outcomes for the benefit of citizens in member countries.

Sierra Leone currently holds the position of Vice Chair of the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA).


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