The Diamond Industry: A Shining Opportunity for Collaboration

The ‘Russian–African Collaboration in the Diamond Industry’ session promises to be a highlight of the Russia-Africa Forum business programme’s Creating Joint Projects track. On 23 October, Russian and international experts will come together to discuss current trends and problems in the diamond mining industry.

Diamonds are the stock-in-trade of Russia and Africa alike. Their production accounts for a significant part of the export earnings of several African countries and plays a significant role in the continent’s economy. Russia is the world’s top producer of diamonds and can boast a wealth of experience in technology, process management, and corporate and financial management. A unification of efforts and competencies would allow the industry to reduce risks and increase financial security. The outlook for collaboration in marketing, logistical organization, improving regulatory affairs, and working together on intra-industry standards is promising. Forum experts will discuss the prospects and plot a vector for further developing cooperation.

The session will be moderated by Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director of the Responsible Jewelry Council. Discussion participants will include Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev, Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum of the Republic of Angola Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, Minister of Mines and Mining Development of the Republic of Zimbabwe Winston Chitando, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation Dmitry Kobylkin, Minister of Mines and Energy of the Republic of Namibia and Chair of the African Diamond Producers Association Tom Alweendo, Deputy Finance Minister of the Russian Federation Aleksei Moiseev, President of the World Diamond Council Stephane Fischler, Сhief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Executive Committee of ALROSA Sergey Ivanov, Board Chairman of the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company Killian Ukama, Chief Executive Officer of the Diamond Producers Association Jean-Marc Lieberherr, Managing Director of the Okavango Diamond Company Marcus ter Haar, Chief Executive Officer of Namib Desert Diamonds (NAMDIA) Kennedy Hamutenya, and Director General of La Société Minière de Bakwanga (MIBA) Albert Mukina.

The session will take place in partnership with ALROSA.

“More than 47% of the world’s diamond reserves are concentrated in Africa, and African development is of significant interest to ALROSA. In the course of our work in Africa, we have accumulated a wealth of experience, are well acquainted with features specific to the region, and are adept at finding shared points and mutual interests. The company would like to further develop cooperation, which we believe can be of benefit to both parties. A discussion of synergy in the diamond mining industry that involves all interested parties can serve to drive further development and bring African diamond products onto the world market”, Ivanov said.

The Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum will take place on 23–24 October in Sochi at the Sirius Park of Science and Art. The events are being organized by the Roscongress Foundation, and the co-organizers of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum are Russian Export Center and Afreximbank.

For a more detailed version of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum programme, please visit: https://summitafrica.ru/en/programm/

To participants in the Russia–Africa Economic Forum

Ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you at the opening of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum.

The rich history of relations between Africa and Russia has never seen an event of a similar scale. Members of government agencies and business community, and experts are meeting at this Forum to substantively discuss the current status and prospects of cooperation and a wide range of topical issues of the world economy.

Today, the countries of Africa are well on their way towards social, economic, scientific and technological development, and are playing a significant role in international affairs. They are strengthening mutually beneficial integration processes within the African Union and other regional and sub regional organizations across the continent.

In recent years, the traditionally friendly ties of partnership between Russia and Africa have gained new momentum, both at a bilateral level and in various multilateral formats. In addition to preserving our past experience of successful cooperation, we have also managed to make significant new steps forward. Trade and investment are growing dynamically, and new joint projects are under way in extractive industries, agriculture, healthcare, and education. Russian companies are ready to offer their scientific and technological developments to their African partners, and share their experience of upgrading energy, transport and communications infrastructures.

I hope that the Forum will help identify new areas and forms of cooperation, put forward promising joint initiatives that will bring the collaboration between Russia and Africa to a qualitatively new level and contribute to the development of our economies and the prosperity of our peoples.

I wish the Forum’s participants fruitful work and all the best.

Vladimir Putin

The Russia–Africa Summit, which is taking place in Sochi on 23–24 October 2019, encapsulates the historically friendly relations between the African continent and the Russian Federation. This Summit carries great significance as it is the first of its kind to emerge during a period of major global and international transformations. In response to the aspirations of the people it is representing, the Summit intends to build a comprehensive framework for expanding Russian–African relations into broader horizons of joint cooperation across different fields.

The African nations and Russia share a common understanding of international relations, based on the principles of respect for the rule of international law, equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of states, and the peaceful resolution of disputes. Both sides affirm their commitment to support multilateral actions to oppose new international threats, be they terrorism and extremism in all their forms, or declining growth rates. The two sides share a firm conviction regarding the importance of developing trade flows and supporting mutual investment in such a way as to ensure security, peace and development for the African and Russian people.

African countries have huge potential and opportunities that will allow them, once efforts to streamline their economies have been achieved, to emerge as real global players. In recent years, the nations of this continent have achieved major successes spanning the political, economic, social and administrative spheres. Africa has flourished in terms of growth over the past decade, reaching a continent-wide growth rate of 3.55% in 2018.

The African Union Summit, which was held in Niger in July 2019, continued the efforts of the African countries and saw the African Continental Free Trade Agreement come into force, along with its operational instruments. The agreement is one of the key objectives of Agenda 2063, an African development strategy that has been created to address the African people’s desire for prosperity and decent living standards.

These successes are opening up wide-ranging prospects for cooperation between African countries and the Russian Federation, and confirm the determination of African governments and their people to cooperate with multiple partners in order to establish mutually beneficial relations.

With this in mind, we express our hopes that the Russia–Africa Summit will help in the establishment of constructive strategic relations, based on partnership between two sides across various fields, and in the service of fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the African people and their friends in Russia.

President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
Abdelfattah ALSISI