Business

Gemstones to bolster economy

KAPATA

BENEDICT TEMBO, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT says the country has a huge potential to develop a gemstone industry that can be source of employment, foreign exchange earnings as well as economic growth and development.
“The gemstones industry is, in this connection, an important contributor to the government’s economic diversification programme,” Minister of Tourism and Arts Jean Kapata said.
In a speech read on her behalf by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Stephen Mwansa, Ms Kapata said Government is pleased that a local company, Jewel of Africa, has established itself in the international gemstone industry.
During the launch of Jewel of Africa’s waterfalls exhibition in Lusaka on Wednesday, Ms Kapata said Government is committed to supporting the company because the exhibition will enable both international tourists and the local people to appreciate the offerings of Jewel of Africa.
“We have keenly followed your exhibitions and fairs around the world and we are encouraging you to continue because you are marketing Zambia to the outside world,” she said.
She said the Jewel of Africa’s waterfall exhibition will bring into light the natural beauty of the gemstones that Zambia has and the intricate designs that are locally hand manufactured by master jewelers and designed by Rashmi Sharma.
“It is wonderful to see such beautiful jewellery made here in Zambia by Zambians,” Ms Kapata said.
She said apart from Zambia having the best emeralds, the country also boasts of vast gemstones across the country such as aquamarine and garnet from Eastern Province, amethyst from Solwezi and Mkushi and tourmaline from Northern Province.
Jewel of Africa managing director Raj Sharma said the company, which has seven outlets within Zambia, sells its products to China and the United States of America.

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