The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) organization along with Belgium consulting firm International Economic Strategy have developed a joint project called the Diamond Producers of Africa (DPA) initiative.
The DPA is a milestone in the optimal development of Africa’s primary resources, which seek to enhance diamond sector, including technical, management, entrepreneurial and leadership skills, and financing. DPA also focuses upon strategic beneficiation and leveraging diamond revenues for the benefit of broader rapid economic development across Africa.
Countries encompassed in DPA include: Angola, Botswana, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast,) Lesotho, Liberia, Namibia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Tanzania.
NEPAD and International Economic Strategy determined that development challenges facing Africa require multi-faceted strategies, which include a new and common vision on trade and development to enhance the competitiveness of Africa’s economies, and their regional integration and their integration into global economy. NEPAD –specifically– provides a platform with which Africa can develop a vision with an integrated strategy on market access. The NEPAD secretariat sees the DPA project as a vitally important building block for African unity and growth.
A code of conduct along with a mission statement was developed for DPA, and a Beneficiation Strategy and Leverage Strategic Development Plan are currently being elaborated upon with input from Africa’s diamond
All involved have recognized the importance of education and training within the diamond sector and suggest such measures are key to unlocking Africa’s future knowledge management and human capital resources. A workshop for diamond producers will be held in the not too distant future, according to NEPAD.
DPA itself is meant to act in anticipation of conflict or relapse of political instability, which led to conflict diamonds in Africa. The DPA will seek to protect the collective reputation and image across Africa’s diamond sector, and conduct best trade practices, good governance, and transparency. Accountability will be rigorously benchmarked and will sustain both diamond and broader economic development for this group of diamond producing countries.