Zim sitting on fortune — SA expert

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South Africa-based World Federation of Diamond Bourses life president Ernest Blom has challenged Zimbabwe to establish its own independent diamond industry to process its rough gems and generate employment for locals.

Addressing journalists during a tour of the South African Diamond Centre in Johannesburg on Monday, Blom said Zimbabwe’s rough diamond exports had generated 60 000 jobs in India because the southern African country did not have facilities to process the gems.

He said it was a prerequisite for all diamond-producing countries to set up independent diamond boards and industries to ensure accountability, and in the long run generate employment for the local population.

Blom, who also supervises implementation on Kimberly Processing Scheme (KPC) and sits on the South African Diamond Board, said implementation of a proper model of the diamond management in Zimbabwe would salvage the country from its economic quagmire.

He said Zimbabwe was sitting on a fortune, and poised to be the world’s biggest diamond dealer if Botswana’s model could be adopted.