National Jeweler Network


GIA continues expansion in Africa

July 15, 2014

Pictured in Namibia are, from left, Kennedy Hamutenya, Namibia diamond commissioner; Lazare Kaplan’s Christian Merkling; Okahandja Mayor Vallerie Aron; Isak Katali, Nambia’s mines and energy minister; NamGem’s Yoav Lavee; and GIA’s Crystall Nel

Johannesburg--The Gemological Institute of America recently held a rough diamond evaluation course in Namibia, its first class in the country and part of the organization’s continued expansion of its operations in Africa. 

GIA conducted the class in Afrikaans from June 30 to July 4, taught by instructor Koos Rademeyer. All students who took the class, which took place at the NamGem diamond cutting and polishing factory in the city of Okahandja, passed. 

Since 2008, the GIA has been expanding its activities and presence in sub-Saharan Africa, opening two full-time laboratories there and offering classes in Gaborone, Botswana and Johannesburg. Gaborone is the capital of Botswana, and the city where another major industry player now is concentrating its activities: De Beers.

The diamond miner and marketer moved its sales and sorting operations from London to Gaborone in 2013, holding its first sight in Botswana in November 2013. The move followed the 2011 signing of a new sales contract between the Government of the Republic of Botswana and De Beers. 

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In addition to its laboratories and classes, the GIA has established partnerships with government agencies and universities in Africa and maintains a network of active alumni, with more than 900 alumni and two GIA Alumni Chapters there.