Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando is tomorrow expected to take part in a session to discuss cooperation in the diamond sector between Russia and Africa.
The discussions will be part of the deliberations at the Russia-Africa Summit being held in Sochi City from today to tomorrow.
A statement from the Russian organisers, said Minister Chitando will participate in a session dubbed; “Russian-African Collaboration in the Diamond Industry”, which will discuss trends and problems in the diamond industry.
“The ‘Russian-African Collaboration in the Diamond Industry’ session promises to be a highlight of the Russia-Africa Forum business programme’s Creating Joint Projects track,” reads the statement.
“On 23 October, Russian and international experts will come together to discuss current trends and problems in the diamond mining industry. Diamonds are the stock-in-trade of Russia and Africa alike.
“Their production accounts for a significant part of the export earnings of several African countries and plays a significant role in the continent’s economy.”
Russia is the world’s top producer of diamonds and boasts a wealth of experience in technology, process management, and corporate and financial management.
“A unification of efforts and competencies would allow the industry to reduce risks and increase financial security. The outlook for collaboration in marketing, logistical organisation, improving regulatory affairs, and working together on intra-industry standards is promising.
“Forum experts will discuss the prospects and plot a vector for further developing cooperation,” added the statement.
The session will be moderated by Iris Van der Veken, executive director of the Responsible Jewellery Council.
Zimbabwe will be represented by Minister Chitando and Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) board chairman Mr Killian Ukama.
The diamond industry is expected to contribute significantly to the Government’s goal of a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023.
The diamond sector together with coal, chrome, iron and steel is expected to contribute at least US$1 billion towards the target, according to Government projections.
Russian firm, Alrosa, which is the world’s largest diamond producer has already been awarded diamond concessions in the Chiadzwa area and Zimbabwe is expected to benefit from its experience in the industry.
The company is part sponsor of the session and its CEO and chairman of the executive committee Mr Sergey Ivanov said it was interested in developing the industry in Africa.
“In the course of our work in Africa, we have accumulated a wealth of experience, are well acquainted with features specific to the region, and are adept at finding shared points and mutual interests.
“The company would like to further develop cooperation, which we believe can be of benefit to both parties. A discussion of synergy in the diamond mining industry that involves all interested parties can serve to drive further development and bring African diamond products onto the world market,” said Mr Ivanov.