The exportation of raw diamonds should come to an end, and Namibians should rather sing a song of local value-addition, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said yesterday.
“Our diamonds are considered as the best in the world, but exporting in raw form helps nothing. We are just making other countries with no natural resources wealthier than us. Let us also become importers of raw diamonds and add value at home,” she noted during a visit to Namib Desert Diamonds’ (Namdia) headquarters in Windhoek.
The Prime Minister added that Namibia should leverage on the availability of her natural resources to build the necessary capacity.
“I am happy to hear Namib Desert Diamonds’ (Namdia) capacity is available to government to use in order to ensure that we are able to formulate amicable policies and administer policy that regulates these resources in a manner that optimises benefits for us,” said Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
During the visit, the PM was briefed on the company’s operations, challenges and the way forward.
This was her first visit to the national diamond marketing and sales company since its inception in 2016.
She said it was commendable to hear about the branding of Namibian diamonds through the entire value chain, from extraction to retail.
“I was never pleased that our diamonds can be used as fitment for other people’s products. We should be able to get premium prices for it, and be able to advance the image in the brand of the country with the resource,” she observed.
The PM said local participation remains imperative not only by way of having local companies buying diamonds and committing to processing, but companies which are owned by Namibians, or that have the participation of Namibians.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila added that Namibia should ensure that diamonds contribute not only to higher income-earnings in the country, but to higher growth, higher employment and improved welfare conditions for Namibians.
At the same occasion, mines minister Tom Alweendo said there is a question among society who ask how much Namibians are really getting from their natural resources, and how many are involved.
He stated that Namdia is one of the profitable state-owned enterprises.
The mining industry accounts for about 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP), 40% of export revenue, and 7% of annual government revenue.
It was also recently reported that Namdia is expanding its price discovery mandate through the rest of the diamond value chain, with the aim to discover and unlock the true value of the treasured resource.
Namdia’s latest financial results showed a recorded profit after tax of N$144.7 million, compared to N$13.3 million the previous year, while recording N$218 million profit before tax.
Also, a record dividend declaration of N$150 million was presented to the Namibian government for the 2021/22 financial year as the sole shareholder.
Furthermore, the diamond company purchased 222 978 carats, representing an increase of 53.8% compared to the previous year. The 2021/22 report stipulated sales revenue increased by 78.7% to US$128 million, as well as 36 new clients who were selected for the 2022/23 to 2025/26 financial years.
Caption: Natural resources…Mines minister Tom Alweendo (left) yesterday handed over a portrait to Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila as a token of appreciation during her first visit to Namdia. Photo: Emmency Nuukala