TANZANIA will be the hub of gemstone business in Africa after being identified as among of the ‘mineral-richest’ countries in Africa.
Speaking during the seminar that involved assistant commissioners, resident mining officers and gemologists organised by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral, a gemologist, Ms Teddy Goliama, from the Tanzania Sorting Company (TANSORT) said that the country was proposed by Thailand during the Bangkok Gem and Jewellery Fair held in Thailand earlier this year.
Ms Goliama said that Tanzania was proposed as the hub of gemstone business in Africa due to the abundance of gemstones, adding that investors from different countries have been attracted by gemstones from Tanzania, especially tanzanite.
She explained that previously the Prime Minister for Thailand visited Tanzania and met with experts from the Ministry of Energy and Minerals.
She further explained that the Thailand Prime Minister invited a delegation from Tanzania to visit her country as well as to discuss areas of cooperation to boost the gemstone business in Tanzania.
Ms Goliama added that the delegation, led by Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, Mr Stephen Masele, met with experts from Thailand and agreed to use international exhibitions as one of strategies of promoting investment opportunities in the gemstone industry in Tanzania.
She stressed that after doing well in the exhibition and found as among of richest countries with gemstones, Tanzania was proposed as the hub of gemstone business in Africa.
“Until now, there is no any hub of gemstone business in Africa; we have been using Arusha Gemstone Fair as the hub of the gem business,” she observed.
The expert insisted that Tanzania has the strategy to improve Arusha Gemstone Fair at international level so that it may be used as the linkage of gemstone business between Africa and other continents.
Meanwhile, Mr Matiko Sanawa, another gemologist from TANSORT, explaining on the challenges facing the gemstone business in Tanzania, added that the lack of awareness among other countries on tanzanite led the country not to get enough capital from the industry.
Mr Matiko explained that international exhibitions could be used as one way of building the new network as well as promoting investment opportunities in the gemstone industry in Tanzania.