Congo Looks to Develop Diamond Polishing Industry

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RAPAPORT… As the drive towards beneficiation in the diamond industry spreads, Republic of Congo’s President Denis Sassou N’guesso expressed interest in developing his country’s diamond polishing industry.

Concluding a three-day economic-focused visit to Namibia on Thursday (July 19, 2007,) Sassou N’guesso said the Republic of Congo would be happy to follow Namibia’s example in regulating its diamond polishing industry, BBC International reported.

Sassou N’guesso ended his visit with a tour of the Lev Leviev Diamonds polishing facility in Windhoek.

“We are pleased to see how Namibia has developed to improve and add value to its raw diamonds. For a long time our resources in Africa have been exploited and so it is good to see that something is being done to change this situation,” the president said.

Republic of Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville, was the first country to be expelled from the Kimberley Process when, in 2004, the country was found exporting far more diamonds than it produced. Stones had been smuggled in from neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC.) Republic of Congo is still not listed as a KP member.

In addition to establishing diamond polishing business leads Sassou N’guesso’s visit to Namibia also sough new business with fish processing plants, salt manufacturers, and meat producing factories.

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