PAC: human rights, human security, sustainable development Canadian and African civil society organizations working together on issues of human rights, human security and sustainable development Partnership Africa Canada
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Program overview

Study Areas
  Sierra Leone
  West Africa
  Congo/Central Africa
  Southern Africa
  Trading, Cutting and
     Polishing Centres

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Comparative Study on Southern Africa

The diamond industry maintains that Angola, Congo and Sierra Leone are anomalies, that most of the diamond industry in Africa is well managed and does not contribute to fueling conflict. It is further argued that conflict diamonds represent an extremely small percentage of world output. De Beers, for example estimates that conflict diamonds made up approximately 3.7 per cent of the world's diamonds in 1999. Our study will engage De Beers, governments and others in the diamond industry on this issue, and is undertaking a comparative study of diamond management in three African countries; Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

Botswana, South Africa and Namibia have been selected for several reasons:

  • the diamond industries in these countries are cited as examples of how diamond mining can be well regulated, contributing to economic growth, employment and prosperity, without contributing to conflict;
  • Botswana, South Africa and Namibia are important in the diamond industry, producing approximately half of world production by value;
  • the countries selected for analysis represent the three major types of diamond mining; alluvial and ocean mining in Namibia, kimberlite mining in Botswana and alluvial, kimberlite and ocean mining in South Africa.

Project output for the comparative analysis will include the following:

  • identification of characteristics leading to the establishment of 'best practice' and recommendations which will contribute to improved diamond mining and trading in other countries;

  • a demonstration of how diamond mining in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana contributes to economic growth, employment and prosperity. The study will include an analysis of the contribution of the diamond industry to GNP, community beneficiation, employment levels, types of employment and contribution of the industry to government revenue from taxes, international trade and concession fees;

  • an analysis of the role of best practices around the issue of security and security companies in the diamond industries of Namibia, South Africa and Botswana;

  • links, if any, between the diamond industries in Namibia, South Africa and Botswana, and the problems of conflict diamonds in Angola, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Research findings and publications will be posted as they become available in the RESOURCES section of this site. Search Resources using key words such as "diamond".

April 2001

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Human Security and Diamonds in Africa