Namibia’s diamond industry fortunes has been on a downwards spiral over the past few years, with nine diamond-cutting and polishing factories out of thirteen shutting down. The remaining four cutting centres now employ 700 workers compared to 2000 at the peak. This was revealed by Namibia’s minister for mines and energy Obeth Kandjoze at the just ended International Diamond Conference and Jewelry Exhibition 2015 in Windhoek, Namibia.
The International Diamond Conference and Jewelry Exhibition 2015 was held from November 23 – 24, under the theme “Challenges facing diamond beneficiation in Southern Africa: How can we make this industry viable and sustainable”.
The regional diamond players such as South Africa and Botswana have also suffered similar fate, Minister Kandjoze was quoted in the daily paper.
The event attracted more than 150 visitors from several countries around the globe. Some of the speakers that were invited included the captains of the industry such as Walter K. Chidakwa, Zimbabwe’s minister for mines and mining development; Shihaleni E. Ndjaba, the chief executive officer of Namibia Diamond Trading Company; and Burhan Seber, the president of the Diamond Manufacturers Association of Namibia.