Angola wants strong Association of African Diamond Producing Countries

2 May 2007

Luanda, Angola, 2 May – Angola plans to transform the African Diamond Producing Countries Association (ADPA), into a string organization, so that it can fulfil the objective of having greater influence on the world diamond market, an Angolan minister said in Luanda Monday.

Speaking at the first meeting of the APDA council of ministers, which was held at the Talatona Congress Center, on the outskirts of Luanda, Angola’s Minister for Geology and Mining, Manuel Africano, asked for rigour in carrying out the organizations’ objectives.

“In order to be successful it is vital that the ADPA, as a body for setting and defining group strategies, fulfils its objectives and manages to ensure that an increasing number of member States join, increasing from the current 19 to many more,” Africano said, cited by Angolan news agency Angop.

The organization, which was set up in November 2006, driven by Angola, is still taking its first steps, as could be seen in Monday’s agenda, which included the budget, quota mechanisms, an action plan and timetable of activities.

Monday’s council of ministers followed a meeting of the organization’s experts who had been preparing an annual budget proposal since Friday, arriving at a figure of US$1.3 million, to be collected from the organization’s full member and observer states on a quota basis.

Edgar de Carvalho, the ADPA’s executive secretary, cited by newspaper Jornal de Angola said that the budget proposal had taken into account the financial means to carry out its activities, as well as dealing with the high cost of living in a city like Luanda, where the organization’s headquarters will be based.

The 19 nations that make up the ADPA want to transform the organization into a kind of OPEC for diamonds.

But in order to do that, as Africano said, diamond producing countries needed to make changes.

“We have very few cutting factories, qualified technicians and technologies, so we urgently need to change this situation, by harmonizing our policies, encouraging strategic partnerships, promoting increased social responsibility by the owners of mining projects, and other players,” he said.

The APDA’s permanent members are, Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Namibia, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone Tanzania, Togo and Zimbabwe.

Algeria, Congo-Brazzaville, the Ivory Coast, Gabon, Liberia, Mali and Mauritania have been given observer status as they are countries with diamond-mining potential. (macauhub)