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SIERRA LEONE IS NOW AT PEACE AND EXPORTED APPROXIMATELY $125 MILLION DIAMONDS IN 2006.

"Countries such as Sierra Leone and Angola...need revenue from diamonds if they are ever to recover from conflict and achieve peace. These legitimate diamonds will now help to bring prosperity to the people of Sierra Leone," said Alhaji Deen, Sierra Leone Minister of Mineral Resources.

Between the years of 1991 and 2002, Sierra Leone descended into a violent civil war (to learn more about the war, click here). In 2000, the United Nations Security Council banned both direct and indirect imports of rough diamonds from Sierra Leone to member states.

When the war ended, Sierra Leone became a democratic country. Since then, the diamond industry has provided technical assistance and training to Sierra Leone's Ministry of Mines in setting up the Government Diamond Office. In 2003 Sierra Leone joined the Kimberley Process, the international agreement developed to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the legitimate diamond supply chain, providing an assurance that diamonds are from conflict free sources. That same year, the United Nations Security Council lifted the regulation regarding the export of diamonds from Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone is now using revenues from diamond exports to rebuild its infrastructure, health services and education systems.

Companies mining diamonds in Sierra Leone include Koidu Holdings and African Diamonds plc. Koidu Holdings is an example of the positive social impact that a legitimate company working in cooperation with the government can make. The company has pledged to share 20% of its profits with the national social safety net and the local community where it mines. While these contributions are important, they are just the start to rebuilding this country. As additional organizations invest in diamond mining in Sierra Leone, they will continue to help this previously war-torn country make significant strides towards social and economic prosperity.

More Facts

Source: The Kimberley Process http://www.kimberleyprocess.com/documents/kp_statistics_en.html
Fact #1: An estimated 5 million people have access to appropriate healthcare globally thanks to revenues from diamonds.
Fact #2: Conflict diamonds have been reduced from 4% to considerably less than 1%...
Fact #3: An estimated 10 million people globally are directly or indirectly supported by the diamond industry.
Fact #4: The diamond mining industry generates over 40% of Namibia's annual export earnings.
Fact #5: Diamond revenues enable every child in Botswana to receive free education...
Fact #6: In July 2000, the global diamond industry announced its zero-tolerance policy towards conflict diamonds...
Fact #7: Sierra Leone is now at peace and exported approximately $125 million diamonds in 2006.
Fact #8: Approximately one million people are employed by the diamond industry in India.
Fact #9: Approximately $8.5 billion worth of diamonds a year come from African countries.
Fact #10: More than 99% of diamonds are now from conflict free sources...
Fact #11: The Diamond Development Initiative was established to improve...
Fact #12: The revenue from diamonds is instrumental in the fight against the HIV/AIDS...
Fact #13: Under the Kimberley Process, rough diamonds can only be exported and imported when accompanied by a certificate...
Fact #14: The charity Jewelers for Children funds a community based care program...
Fact #15: An estimated 65% of the world's diamonds come from African countries.
Fact #16: Today, 74 governments...
Fact #17: The diamond industry has introduced a system to help give greater assurances to retailers...
Fact #18: Diamonds account for 33% of the GDP...
Fact #19: Major world leaders - including Nelson Mandela - have cited the importance of diamonds...
Fact #20: It is estimated that one million people work in the informal (astisanal) alluvial diamond digging sector.
Fact #21: Some diamond producing countries are not Kimberley Process compliant.
Fact #22: In November 2007, 74 governments, leading NGOs, and the World Diamond Council agreed...
Fact #23: At the 2006 Kimberley Process Plenary, the industry committed funds and resources to address challenges...
Fact #24: In August 2007 Turkey was welcomed as a participant in the Kimberley Process.
 
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