Forty pioneering students at the Zimbabwe Diamond Education College (ZDEC) graduated after completing a course in rough diamond evaluation and grading at a ceremony at a local hotel in Harare at the weekend.
The ceremony was attended by diamond dealers, families of the students and ZDECs South African lecturers.
Among the graduating students were five physically challenged scholars from First Lady Grace Mugabes Danhiko Project.
Addressing the gathering, ZDEC principal Stephen Muchenje hailed the founder of the institution Lovemore Kurotwi for coming up with the idea to start the college which he said would not only benefit the students, but the country as a whole.
Already some of the students have been taken up by our local diamond dealers and Zimbabwe will no longer rely on importing such expertise, Muchenje said.
This has been the brainchild of the founder Kurotwi and his family and we as a college anticipate working hard in conjunction with the government and other diamond players for the good of the nation.
According to Muchenje, the graduates completed studies in geology, the Kimberly Process Scheme, where they learnt its social and political implications, Rappaport (an international organisation that determines diamond pricing) and the dynamics of the diamond industry in South Africa, Botswana and other countries.
Muchenje said the students would now start other programmes in diamond cutting and polishing, laser cutting and other diamond skill courses.