DDI Kicks Off Annual Industry Fundraising Campaign

140 95 Rapaport News

Press Release: The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) International  opened its annual ‎industry fundraising campaign, and the first contributions have been made by the Antwerp ‎World Diamond Centre (AWDC) and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association ‎‎(IDMA).‎
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Fair prices, safe working conditions, education and human rights are  what DDI is working ‎on at the grassroots level in Africa and South America’s diamond industry. ‎

Dorothee Gizenga, DDI’s  executive director, said,  “Support from AWDC is very important to us, ‎because this organization represent such a broad cross-section of the industry. One of the ‎best ways industry can show its commitment is through international trade associations like ‎AWDC.”‎

AWDC is the coordinating body and the official representative of the Antwerp diamond ‎sector, and as such is recognized internationally as the host, spokesperson and intermediary ‎for the Belgian diamond community. AWDC is fully engaged in fostering high standards of ‎corporate social responsibility in the industry.  ‎

Stéphane Fischler, president of AWDC, said, “We hope that our contribution will encourage ‎others in the industry to join this campaign and to help build a solid base for DDI’s excellent ‎work in Africa and South America. DDI is working to improve the lives of people who are ‎very much part of our industry.”‎

DDI’s support to capacity building to enhance Kimberley Process (KP) internal ‎controls  complements AWDC’s initiatives to provide training and technical assistance. ‎AWDC actively helps countries to set up their internal KP legislation. AWDC believes that KP ‎compliance is a crucial element in the economical development of a sustainable diamond ‎industry, especially on the African continent. AWDC is confident that DDI’s efforts to regulate ‎Africa’s artisan diamond diggers will also contribute to a better level playing field for the KP.‎

DDI was started five years ago as a way of bringing industry, governments and civil society ‎together to tackle the problems facing Africa’s 1.5 million artisan diamond diggers. The diamonds ‎they produce and the places they work are where conflict diamonds began and where the ‎potential for renewed violence remains. Although the diamond wars have ended and the ‎KP tracks the international rough diamond trade, little has changed for the ‎average digger, who earns a dollar a day, working under appalling conditions.‎
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Gizenga said, “The Diamond Development Initiative is working ‎on a diamond industry problem, it needs and deserves diamond industry support.” ‎

Visit DDII at www.ddiglobal.org  ‎

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