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GIA conducts first Rough Diamond Evaluation course in Côte d'Ivoire
Says ‘This is an essential step for a country that is now working hard to re-establish and grow the industry’
By: Diamond World News Service
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Sep 26 2014 7:45PM
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Reference: 9640  

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GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has launched its Rough Diamond Evaluation course in French in Côte d'Ivoire, with the purpose to further the gem and jewellery industry’s beneficiation initiatives.

“The rough diamond course brings practical and relevant education to this gem producing region. By working with Ivorian officials and others in the industry, we can directly support artisanal miners and the development of the diamond sector as a whole. This is an essential step for a country that is now working hard to re-establish and grow the industry following its recent integration into the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme,” said Brad Brooks-Rubin, GIA’s global director of development and beneficiation.

The five-day course was held in Abidjan from September 15-19, with six government officials from the Ministry of Mines, Customs and the Ivorian mining development organization SODEMI, two representatives of artisanal mining cooperatives and one field staffer from the Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development II project of the U.S. Agency for International Development, attending. The course was taught by Ric Taylor, GIA’s manager of global instruction.

Several notable governmental and diplomatic representatives, including Jean Claude Brou, the Minister of Mines and Industry, and Terence P. McCulley, the U.S. Ambassador to Côte d'Ivoire, attended the Rough Diamond Evaluation graduation on the final day.

GIA also hosted the first-ever GIA Junior Gemologist Program™ workshop in a Francophone African country on September 18 in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan. 18 students between the age groups of 14-18 from the Lycee Blaise Pascal school were exposed to the world of gemology through hands-on, practical training. The program was introduced in sub-Saharan Africa in 2012, and has taken place in Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. Since 2008, GIA has expanded its activities and presence in sub-Saharan Africa.

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