Mines and energy minister, Tom Alweendo, has inaugurated a new Indian based diamond cutting and polishing factory, KGK Sky Investments, which has expanded its operations from South Africa.
The factory has a staff complement of 53 people (Namibians and Indians included) and plans to add 30 more locals by the end of the year.
KGK has been in the diamond and jewellery business for over 110 years while operations in Africa commenced in 1996 and the group says it is the largest employer in sub-Saharan Africa.
Alweendo described the coming in of the KGK group as a “Major milestone for the cutting and polishing industry in Namibia, in the sense that it speaks directly to the benefits that the government of the republic of Namibia envisaged with the signing of the new Sorting, Valuing, Sales and Marketing Agreement in May 2016.”
He added, “We strongly believe that the improved terms of the new Agreement would result in increased opportunities for job creation, skills transfer, investment in infrastructure and technology, and a further integration and empowerment of Namibian citizens at all stages of the diamond value chain. All of which we are witnessing here today.”
The group said it was committed to local beneficiation and has “Consistently invested into skills development and local value addition.
“KGK’s investments in the latest technologies such as the Waterjet laser and the Galaxy ultra makes our factories in Africa competitive with any factory in the world. These investments in technology signals KGK’s intent to create the finest products,” said the group.
Namibian diamonds will be marketed through KGK’s offices in 18 countries across the world, it said.
The group also said it had identified five competent Namibians who will be leaving for India this week to attend a comprehensive training programme at KGK India.