Some further thoughts stemming from last week’s post on Antwerp and Zimbabwe.
[two_third]Whatever you feel about Antwerp World Diamond Centre CEO Ari Epstein’s remarks last week to the Zimbabwe Parliament, he did have a point. His organization was able to get the European Union to remove its sanctions against Marange diamonds, and when Antwerp auctioned those gems, they fetched nice prices. It’s also pledged to help with value addition and improving technical skills. And yet Zimbabwe seems to be favoring Antwerp’s rival Dubai. “Why, when the sanctions are lifted,” Epstein beseeched the country’s legislators, “are you imposing sanctions on yourselves?“[/two_third][one_third_last]
“And yet Zimbabwe seems to be favoring Antwerp’s rival Dubai.”
That may be because the Marange diamond business is controlled by people like Robert Mhlanga, the chairman of Mbada Diamonds, the largest miner in the region. Earlier this month, he told Parliament he has “reservations” about selling to Antwerp. “We have actually reeled under sanctions, thanks to Brussels,” he said. “Now, because they have claimed to have lifted sanctions, we run to them.”