A delegation from Angola paid a visit to Antwerp this week as part of the country’s ongoing efforts to restructure and reform the functioning and reputation of its diamond industry, traveling to the diamond capital for consultations regarding implementation of the Kimberley Process (KP) regulations. The visit follows that of President João Lourenço to Antwerp last June, and the Belgian mission to Angola last November, spearheaded by Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, Didier Reynders. The Angolans were welcomed by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), a strong advocate of strict adherence to the KP and the potential expansion of the scope of its mission.
The Angolans selected Antwerp because it has been commended by the KP for the way it implements the KPCS (KP Certification Scheme), specifying the Diamond Office’s 100% physical controls of all diamond shipments imported to and exported from Antwerp, which provides a guarantee for banks, insurance companies, miners and shareholders. The fact that Antwerp’s self-regulation system is backed by government oversight of the industry, and that the AWDC promotes strict adherence to anti-money laundering regulations create a robust ecosystem of compliance in the trade center, with the Diamond Office monitoring not only the flow of goods but also diamond transactions.
The AWDC informed the Angolan delegation it was prepared to contribute to Angola’s efforts to reform its local KP organization and potentially provide assistance concerning the country’s efforts to streamline its diamond valuation procedures, whether in the form of expertise, training programs, exchange of diamond experts and facilitating placement of independent diamond valuators. As both parties clarified during this visit and previously, there is a mutual understanding of the need to increase cooperation and investments between Belgium and Angola at the governmental level, to be executed by the Joint Economic Commission.
The delegation included Dr. Mankenda Ambroise (Advisor to the Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum), Mr. Fernando Amaral (Director of the Sodiam Board of Directors), Mr. Euclides Arcanjo Cambundo de Oliveira (Legal cabinet of Ministry) and Mr. Estanislau Buio (KP Executive Secretary).