In honor of Antwerp’s celebration of its 570-years of unbroken diamond trading, the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) is hosting an African Diamond Conference. The 3-day conference commenced last night with an exclusive gala welcoming African mining ministers and key members of the global diamond industry to Antwerp.
Mr. Ari Epstein, CEO of AWDC, addressed Antwerp’s valued business partners by reiterating the importance of working together and engaging in dialogue in order to achieve sustainable growth in matters such as socio-economic development and sustainable business practices. “Antwerp is an example of how different nationalities, religions and cultures can work together and pursue their diamond dreams in harmony. Now there is just one culture and one language, in Antwerp. “In Antwerp, we speak diamond.”
Mr. Thabo Mbeki, former President of South Africa, a man recognized throughout Africa as an influential intellectual, policy maker and diplomat then gave a passionate speech regarding the challenges and opportunities the future will bring. This in the presence of H.E. Didier Reynders, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs.
The African Diamond Conference, is a high-level dialogue where African mining ministers, the diplomatic corps, key members of the global diamond industry, civil society and academia come together to discuss the challenges and opportunities African diamond-producing countries face now and in the future. The gala welcomed over three hundred guests, representing 29 nationalities, making it a night the industry won’t soon forget.
The conference will discuss topics including the potential impact of synthetic diamonds, innovative marketing to meet new consumer demands, responsible supply chains and leveraging the diamond industry for economic development.