"On concluding the second ‘Africa Dubai Precious Metals Forum’ in Accra, KP Chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem met with H.E. President John Dramani Mahama to discuss Kimberley Process matters and to share the KP Chair Mid-Term Report," writes Emirates 24/7 News. Ghana is a full KP member, has the 11th largest reserves of diamonds in the world and is the 14th largest producer in Africa. In 2015, the country produced 174,218.39 carats of diamonds worth $6,424,888.81, or $36.88 per carat according to KP statistics. Ghana exported $6,905,748.32 worth of diamonds last year. Nonetheless, the diamond industry remains relevant although it contributes less than +/- 5% of mineral commodities revenues to Ghana’s GDP.
During their conversation, the President discussed his country’s firm commitment to all KP mandates and operational criteria, and highlighted recent changes in government legislation, including a repatriation law where 85% of the income derived from exporting raw materials is returned to the country. The Bank of Ghana registers and reports all export transactions, including diamonds. Consequently, Ghana’s diamonds are sought after globally, thanks to the country’s reputation of maintaining a transparent financial regulatory system and its adherence to Kimberley Process requirements. President Mahama elaborated that the system enables the government to re-invest in infrastructure and other projects, including the building of 200 schools, to bring affordable education to the population. The President also spoke of further proposed legislation for incorporation into mining and trading licenses that would compel companies to engage in environmental repatriation programs, such as reforestation and other similar reparations.
Emirates 24/7 News writes that, "As part of his Africa Initiative, after visiting Central Africa Republic, Angola, South Africa and more recently Burkina Faso, the KP chair, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, continues to visit other African nations including DRC. The Africa initiative is a commitment by the KP Chair to keep a hands-on presence in diamond producing nations to help facilitate KP compliance, the fulfilment of KP mandates and to give Africa a voice."