The Rapaport Trade Mission to Sierra Leone attracted a strong group of 29 international diamantaires and jewelers from the US, India, UAE, UK, Switzerland, Turkey, Canada, Spain, and Israel. For many, the trip was transformative as they visited the diggers in their villages and came face to face with the challenges and opportunities confronting the artisanal digger communities.
Two days were spent up-country in Kono, where the group met with the paramount chiefs, visited diggers and digging sites, and had dinner with 50 members of the Kono District Miners Union. A highlight of the trip was the visit to Koryardu, the village where the Peace Diamond was discovered. A new medical center, school, and road are being constructed. For the first time, clean water, sanitation, and electricity will be provided. The group had lunch with the Alluvial Diamond and Gold Miners Association and members of the local Lebanese community.
The last day of the mission featured a Development Diamond Conference in Freetown with presentations by the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Dr. Morie Manyeh, and the Minister of Trade and Industry, Peter Conteh, as well as an evening reception at the home of US Ambassador Maria E. Brewer.
During the visit, Martin Rapaport, Chairman of the Rapaport Group, presented a proposal to the government of Sierra Leone, providing a systematic and sustainable business model that will optimize the benefit of Sierra Leones alluvial diamonds for the diggers, their communities, and the government. Click here for the proposal.
The diamond diggers of Sierra Leone are as much a part of our industry as the leading jewelers. This mission created new channels of communication and understanding as it recognized the responsibility our trade has to the less fortunate artisanal community. We believe in and are committed to creating opportunities for sustainable economic development that will transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Sierra Leone. We thank all those that joined us on this mission, said Martin Rapaport.
About the Rapaport Group:
The Rapaport Group is a global provider of added-value services that support the development of ethical, transparent, competitive and efficient diamond and jewelry markets. Established in 1978, the Rapaport Price List is the primary source of diamond price and market information. Group activities include Rapaport Information and Research Services, Rapaport Magazine, and the Diamonds.net portal; RapNet, the worlds largest diamond trading network; RapLab diamond grading services; and Rapaport Trading and Auction Services, specializing in recycled diamonds and jewelry. The Group supports over 20,000 clients in 121 countries and has offices in New York, Las Vegas, Antwerp, Ramat Gan, Mumbai, Surat and Hong Kong. Additional information is available at www.diamonds.net.
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