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African Diamond Producers Association accuses G7 Diamond Protocol of undermining KP

19 october 2023

The G7 Certification Scheme or G7 Diamond Protocol not only bypasses and undermines, but also serves as a substitute for the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), according to the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA).

It said the G7 Diamond Protocol aims to implement a fresh set of stringent measures that will limit the international trade of uncut diamonds.

“The KPCS is registered with the United Nations General Assembly, a milestone initiative developed over 20 years ago with the full support of most African nations,” said ADPA executive director Ellah Muchemwa in a statement addressed to KPCS chairperson Soda Zhemu.

“Furthermore, this G7 Diamond Protocol has a negative impact on the revenues of ADPA Members and a direct negative impact on artisanal and small-scale diamond miners in our countries.”

G7 countries and the EU had been working on measures aimed at restricting Russian diamonds from entering the G7 markets.

Several proposals including the G7 Diamond Protocol proposed by the World Diamond Council (WDC) and the Belgian Government Proposal supported by Antwerp World Diamond Center (AWDC) are being considered for implementation by January 2024.

Muchemwa said ADPA was not consulted in any of the "G7 initiatives" implementation deliberations which would lead to drastic changes in the future of the rough diamond trade since the KPCS was established. “The governments represented in ADPA have difficulties understanding how a coalition of Western entities deems it appropriate to establish guidelines on diamonds without input from the African stakeholders who account for over 60% of diamond production,” said Muchemwa.

She said the proposed changes are bound to cause supply chain disruption, additional burdens, and increased costs for the mining nations in the ADPA.

“It will set the precedent of the segregation of diamonds by their origin. It will also be detrimental for the polishing of rough diamonds in the country of origin,” said Muchemwa.

“Additional costs will be incurred when a parcel of rough diamonds needs to be first shipped to Antwerp to then be re-shipped to the country of origin to be polished.”

ADPA said all industry participants should go back to productive discussions on any new certification initiatives under the KPCS umbrella with due respect to its universal mandate and representation.

ADPA represents the interests of 19 African diamond-producing countries.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished