Deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Umaru Napoleon Koroma has participated in the 20th Plenary of the Kimberley Process held at the Victoria Fall in Zimbabwe.

Throughout the five days summit, the Deputy Minister and his team from Sierra Leone had fruitfully deliberations on a range of issues including the Kimberley

Certification Process which was initiated 20 years ago because of the the trade in conflict diamonds from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola and the Democratic

Republic of Congo. Sierra Leone as a diamond producing country currently holds the position of Vice President at the Executive Directorate of the African Diamond Producers Association (ADPA).

During the deliberations, it emerged that Sierra Leone and three other countries will be used as case studies for a research on the use of resources derived from artisanal and alluvial mining for the good of the communities blessed with these resources.

"Sierra Leone is overwhelmingly committed towards this research and our government will cooperate in it fully because it seeks to address the fundamental development challenges in our communities" he said.

It was also revealed that the Diamond Area Community Development Fund (DACDF) a 2001 initiative from Sierra Leone would be considered as a model to be adopted by other African diamond producing countries. Zimbabwe has already adopted this model to create their own community development fund.

This development ignited a sense of pride on Team Sierra Leone which was to later engage in other discussions with groups like the Ad hoc Committee on the Review and Reform (ADHCRR) of the Kimberley Process core documents.

This Committee looked at the broader definition of "conflict diamonds" where a proposal by other countries to extend the term to trade in cut and polished diamonds coming from aggressor countries. A consensus was however not reached on this.

The team also actively engaged with Working Group of Diamond Experts (WDGE) which among other things discussed an agreement between Zimbabwe and Botswana. The discussions will be incorporated into an agreement that will be further scrutinized.

Speaking to this medium from Zimbabwe, Deputy Minister Umaru Napoleon Koroma said the five days summit provided insightful narratives that will undoubtedly leave lasting impressions on the minds of participants.

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