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World leaders in the diamond industry will come together in Namibia, for the International Diamond Conference 2015, November 24-27. The conference is themed: Omugongo, A Cut above the Rest. This prestigious event will be held at the Safari Conference Centre in the capital Windhoek. The conference aims to focus on the “Challenges facing diamond beneficiation in Southern Africa: How can we make this industry viable and sustainable.”The Namibian government has a 50-50 joint venture partnership with the De Beers Group and together have implemented a long-term economic development plan that aims to build a self-sustainable national gem-cutting industry. This will ensure the sustainability of an industry that accounts for about 30% of Namibia’s annual export revenue, bringing funds into the country to improve infrastructure, childhood education and healthcare in local communities.In order to protect the marine ecology and the coastal areas in which most of Namibia’s diamonds are found, international environmental standards are strictly followed in diamond mining activities. Namibia’s comprehensive environmental management plan has been independently verified as ISO 14001 compliant, ensuring long-term ecological and economical sustainability of mining areas. “Namibia’s Atlantic coast area holds an estimated 80 million carats of gems, which were carried to the sea by the Orange River and could be mined beyond 2050,” said Kennedy Hamutenya, Diamond Commissioner for the Republic of Namibia.The highest quality diamonds and one of the world’s largest alluvial diamond deposits are found in Namibia. “Namibia’s diamonds fetch the highest prices because they are of high quality, pure carbon, spotless and they don’t disintegrate…what we don’t have in quantity is made up in quality,” Hamutenya said in 2014.The Minister of Mines and Energy Hon. Obeth Mbul Kandjoze (MP) will open the two-day conference. Industry expert Chaim Even-Zohar will be coordinating the conference. Speakers include: Hon. Walter K. Chidakwa, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development of the Republic of Zimbabwe; Shihaleni E Ndjaba, CEO at Namibia Diamond Trading Company; Burhan Seber, President of the Diamond Manufacturers Association of Namibia (DIAMAN); Kombadayedu Kapwanga, President of the Chamber of Mines of Namibia; and many others.