Africa: Tanzania Assumes Africa's Diamond Producers Chair

Blue diamond (file photo).

ABOUT 12 Member States of the African Diamonds Producers Association (ADPA) are holding a two-day meeting in Dodoma to deliberate on harmonising laws in the mining sector.

The meeting, among other issues, set to deliberate on how diamond producers in the continent harmonise laws in the sector to enable their countries to reap tangible benefits from natural resources.

The meeting, started on Wednesday, saw Namibian Minister for Minerals Tom Alweendo handing over ADPA chairmanship to Tanzania's Minister for Minerals Dotto Biteko for one year beginning on Thursday.

Mr Biteko told journalists that the meeting participants are mineral experts and ministers for minerals from 12 member states and will deliberate several issues pertaining to diamond minerals.

"There will also be observers from seven countries of Algeria, Congo Republic, Cote D' Ivore, Gabon, Liberia, Mali and Mauritius," said Mr Biteko.

The 12 member states are from Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Ghana, Togo, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The 7th extraordinary meeting of the ADPA Council of Ministers is being conducted via video conference according to Mr Biteko.

The meeting, according to the minister, was preceded by a meeting of experts which was held yesterday to discuss several issues on the implementation of ADPA responsibilities.

On Thursday, ministers from member countries will meet to go through the various recommendations proposed by mineral experts, he added.

"During our period when chairing the association, Tanzania will make sure that it improves ADPA systems so as it can bring positive benefits to member states just as intended," Minister Biteko said.

Tanzania, according to Mr Biteko, is currently having a proper legal framework to manage minerals in the country and wants the same system to be adopted by other diamond producers in the continent.

Tanzania is the largest diamond producer in East Africa Bloc, with a largest mine at Mwadui in Shinyanga operated by South Africa's Petra Diamonds.

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