Zambia hosted its first ever Emeralds International Conference last week. Held over two days, the international conference explored : ways of how the sector can be developed into a world leader while ensuring that relevant revenues and profits accrue to the government; issues affecting small miners; adding value to gemstones; environmental issues; and, international auctions. Zambia is the third largest producer of gemstones in the world. It is remarkable that such a conference is being held only for the first time. The organisers are to be commended. One hopes this will be a annual event..
Sean Gilbertson (CEO Gemfields) gave this excellent presentation. I particularly draw your attention to the slides on "myth busting" which helps to improve our knowledge of the real issues. Also the policy recommendations are excellent. It is vital that our policy makers begin to take seriously the issues raised - so that our poorest people can have a win win situation. We need evidence based and transparent policy making in this sector to ensure policy decisions add value in the long term. The issues facing this sector are many and therefore there's great need for ongoing dialogue.
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