By Brecken Branstrator
brecken.branstrator@nationaljeweler.com
Livingstone, Zambia—A new event to promote the responsible sourcing of gemstones from Africa has been planned for the summer.

The Africa Gem Exhibition and Conference is slated for July 23 to 25 at the Avani Victoria Falls Resort in Livingstone, Zambia.

It will bring together a range of stakeholders from various African governments, miners representing small scale and large companies, civil society, associations and academics.

They will discuss policy in the gemstone supply chain, encourage ideas to promote and incentivize value addition of gemstones, enhance Africa’s visibility as a gem-producing hub and feature discussions on the responsible sourcing of gold and diamonds from the continent.

It also will provide a marketplace for miners, dealers and jewelers to buy and sell gemstones and jewelry.

Conference Director Monica Gichuhi said event organizers are collaborating with the Zambian Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development to allow for easy importation and exportation of goods for the event.

She also noted they’ve partnered with GIA to offer an introductory course on gemology during the event as well as training on gem identification and valuation using the guidebook designed by the lab for artisanal and small-scale miners.

One day also will include basic training on jewelry making from U.S. jewelers attending the conference.


There also will be a gem cutting competition, open to all African lapidaries and gem cutters who want to showcase their expertise.

Organizers are working with the Gemstone Processing and Lapidary Training Centre in Zambia to help coordinate the competition in collaboration with Inonge Zita Jewelers, which specializes in sourcing and cutting stones from Zambia.

Gichuhi said they would like to gift the winner with relevant equipment or a machine to help develop their skills and work but still seek a donation to assist with that.

AGEC has been organized in partnership with the Association of Zambia Women in Mining, Federation of Small-Scale Miners of Zambia and the Zambian Government as well as the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference.

There are multiple tiers of pricing based on involvement and residence. For more information or to buy tickets, visit AGECAfrica.com.

“The speakers that we are able to get in Zambia due to the location brings our global dialogue on responsible jewelry industry to a new level of communication and cooperation,” said Susan Wheeler, a jewelry designer and founder and CEO of the Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference.

“Civil society leaders, those in the government of source countries and the NGOs operating on the ground as well as women miners, various AWIMA associations and of course jewelry designers all come together to drive the industry towards the SDG.”

The Nomad Jeweler, meanwhile, is organizing a trip to tour mines in Zambia after the conference.

The Livingstone (Victoria Falls) Gemstone Tour will run from July 25-29; participants will transfer from the Avani resort to The David Livingstone Lodge and Spa for the duration of the stay.

Days will be spent visiting local amethyst and emerald mines, meeting with miners, visiting local schools and community projects, going on safari and more.

The price of the package, which includes the conference, will be available soon. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Editor’s note: This story was updated on March 6 to reflect additional information about a trip related to the conference.




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