Kimberley Process Chair Discusses Future with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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As part of his Africa Initiative, ahead of D.R. Congo general elections, the UAE KP Chair, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, meets Government Ministers to discuss Kimberley Process

KP Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem with DRC Minister of Mines H.E. Martin Labilo

It’s clear that continued adherence to the Kimberley Process is vital to the country’s economic development.

With general elections looming in one of Africa’s biggest diamond producing nations, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ahmed Bin Sulayem is meeting with government ministers and senior industry figures to talk through the country’s position on the Kimberley Process (KP) and to discuss various initiatives and programmes to further its stature as a major diamond producer.

In addition to meeting the Minister of Mines, H.E. Martin Labilo and the Minister of Economy, H.E. Bahati Lukwebo Modeste, Mr. Bin Sulayem has also been meeting woth Deputy Director General, Mr. Pascal Nyembo Muyumba, of the Centre for Evaluation, Expert Analysis and Certification of Precious Minerals (CEEC). CEEC is the body that monitors mining and the processes of minerals and precious metals, including diamonds.

Mr. Muyumba took Mr. Bin Sulayem on a tour of DRC’s only diamond processing and official export facility in Kinshasa, where the KP Chair observed the secure operation of diamond sorting and processing first hand.

Mr Bin Sulayem said, “It is important to understand not only the government's position and policy on the continued mining and export of rough diamonds, as it relates to KP mandates, but also to experience the operation from a senior public servant’s point of view, should the political landscape of the country change in the upcoming November elections.”

The KP Chair also met with the President of the Chamber of Mines, Mr. Simon Tuma-Waku who is a strong proponent of the KP and its mandates. Mr. Tuma-Waku believes any successive governments will support the KP, given the contribution that diamond exports make to the DRC economy.

The Chamber of Mines President also discussed with Mr. Bin Sulayem the DRC’s full membership of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) since 2014, which compliments KP membership in terms of the transparency of mining rights ownership.

The extractive sector, which includes diamonds, continues to play an important role in the country, with Oil, Gas and Mining accounting for approximately 99% of total Congolese exports, 64% of the government budget, 24% of formal employment, and 13% of GDP with a year on year increase through 2012 to the last statistics in 2014.

Historically, the DRC has faced certain challenges, when in 2004 it was removed from the KP because of civil unrest, with control of rough diamond production falling into the hands of anti-government insurgents.

DRC was readmitted to the KP in 2007, and served as Vice Chair in 2010 and Chair in 2011. Mining and exports resumed under strict control, with the government holding an 80% stake in the company licensed to mine, process and export rough diamonds.

Mr. Bin Sulayem commented further, “Having met with senior government officials and public servants, as well as cabinet ministers, it’s clear that continued adherence to the Kimberley Process is vital to the country’s economic development. It appears that the strength of dedication and determination held by the public servants and officials should be enough to ensure KP principles and mandates are upheld into the future.”

DRC is the world’s third biggest diamond producer by volume, and is responsible for approximately 13% of global output, including industrial diamonds.

Mr. Bin Sulayem’s visit to the DRC is part of his Africa Initiative, as KP Chair, to maintain a hands-on presence in diamond producing nations, to help facilitate and maintain KP compliance - and the fulfillment of KP mandates - which cements his commitment to give Africa a voice.

Media Enquiries:
Stephen Marney
Press Secretary to the UAE KP Chair.
+971 50 655 8533

About the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme is a collaborative initiative between governments, industry and civil society to stem the flow of conflict diamonds into the diamond trade. Started in 2000, the creation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) in November 2002 laid the foundation for the KPCS by setting out the requirements for controlling rough diamond production and trade. It entered into force in 2003, when participating countries started to implement the rules. There are now 54 participants representing 81 countries including the UAE.

In 2003, the UAE adapted its Federal Law "Union Law no.13 Regarding Supervision of Import/Export and Transit of Rough Diamonds" and became the first Arab country to implement the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. The Kimberley Process office in DMCC is the entity authorised by the UAE Ministry of Economy to authenticate the ethical sourcing of rough diamonds traded in the country.

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