Angola commenced its first diamond auction yesterday, with about 35 companies participating in the auction of seven high carat stones. The initiative is to reinstate the government’s commitment to innovation and transparency in the diamond industry.

The auction would make use of a sealed system where interested companies would submit their biddings electronically without others knowing what they have bid. Thus making the process more transparent, particularly for producers of diamonds who have complained that they were not getting the true worth for their stones. Producers previously sold their stones through the opaque government marketing to buyers selected by the government, a process which resulted in prices well below their international prices.

This move will also help raise international awareness of the quality stones that are mined in Angola as well as diversify the economy which is solely dependent on oil.

At the launch of the auction on Monday, the Minister of Minerals and Oil in Angola, Diamantino Azevedo said that for Angola to be able to diversify its economy, it would have to boost the mining sector by implementing macroeconomic policies that are favourable for the sector. He also stated that the impact of these policies, through the aggregation of values, exploitable and exported products, as well as their potential in the generation of jobs, translates into the platform to boost the national economy.

Angola is the world’s fifth largest producer of diamonds in terms of value. However, the African country has promised to increase the production of diamond and per carat value aiming to become top 3 producers of diamond by 2021. In recent times, there has been a call for African countries to diversify their economies which would help protect the economic viability of other industries and also reduce the risks of losing investments to a particular sector. Countries like Nigeria that are solely dependent on oil can take a cue from Angola by investing in other sectors of the economy.

The auction is organised by Angola’s state-owned diamond trading company, Sodiam in partnership with Endiama and Lulo mining industry.


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