On September 15th, 2022, next to the breathtaking vista of the Namibian coast as a setting, NAMDIA revealed a new chapter in its quest to capture more value for the diamonds it handles on behalf of the people of Namibia. At an event opened with remarks by the Governor of the Erongo Region, NAMDIA uncovered a diamond that represents a first in Namibian history; the Eumbo Star.
Formed in 2016 as a price discovery mechanism for Namibian diamonds, NAMDIA has been relentless in pursuing its mandate. Over the years many milestones have been achieved and this event marked another one.
The ‘Eumbo Star’, graded as a rare 15.06 Carat D color flawless diamond was unveiled as a symbol of new beginnings and joint good fortunes. It was partially named after the NAMDIA headquarters in Windhoek which derives its origins from the Oshiwambo word for ‘home’. The building itself is a historic reminder of the course followed by many. The location served as a sanctuary and social hub for struggle stalwarts of all races, during the pre-independence era.
The rest of its name is derived from the past, in days long forgotten, when kin and friend still shared tradition and dreams around the fire and under the night sky, when elders spoke of a star. A special, a shooting star – which was interpreted as a sign of forthcoming good luck, fertility and love. It was said that whoever first laid eyes on the streak of light left in its wake, was granted their sincerest wish.
The ‘Eumbo Star’ is as enchanting as the Namibian night sky and is a flawlessly symmetrical stone that stands as the grand testament of the ethos behind the joint venture agreement entered into between NAMDIA and Samir Gems DMCC; its global partner in this initiative.
Together they are transforming this large diamond from a rough stone to a stunning final gem with the intent to trial a new exciting way for Namibians to gain more from each diamond sold on their behalf internationally.
It is the first diamond that goes to market with a name given to it by Namibians and will reach the market as a gem that is identified as being truly Namibian. In the past, Namibian diamonds did not make it to market but were rather mixed into batches consisting of diamonds from other countries to create an attractive purse that jewel manufacturers would buy. This has all changed thanks to NAMDIA.
Before NAMDIA, no purely Namibian selection of diamonds was sold by themselves and the true value that Namibian diamonds fetched was not known. With six years of NAMDIA’s operations, that value is becoming more accurately determined by the Namibian Government, and an additional step has been taken to determine how much more value can be retained by Namibia through beneficiation with manufacturing jewellers.
Thus the ‘Eumbo Star’ blazes a path not only for itself but for many stones still to pass through the value chain of NAMDIA in the future. NAMDIA communicates this strategy with the guiding principle; ‘Every Diamond is a promise fulfilled’.
Unpacking this statement, NAMDIA makes the following vows about itself and its operations. The first being a spirit of accountability to the nation of Namibia for every diamond that passes through its hands. The second being that of taking actions while under the guidance of a purpose to contribute to the upliftment of all Namibians by maximizing the full value of Diamonds. This in turn is demonstrated by the dividend that is delivered to the Government of the Republic of Namibia and the social economic impact to the broader Namibian house.
On the sidelines of the launch event, The Acting CEO of NAMDIA; Mrs. Lelly Usiku re-iterated great pride in being able to be part of the journey that allows Namibians to benefit more from their natural resources. She thanked her team, her Board, the relevant line Ministers, the Government, the Namibian Police and other partners for the role they play continually with each carat handled to make this promise a reality.
She also thanked Samir Gems DMCC for being a partner that believes in Namibia and its dream of gaining more from its resources with the same zeal and intensity as NAMDIA. She believes that Namibia has a rich history of diamond recovery, but through Joint Ventures like these Namibia gains a future of great value addition.
She re-emphasised the fact that Namibian diamonds have unique characteristics, shaped by time, smoothened and weathered by the ocean and touched by the history of her people. These facets gift them a brilliance allowing them to stand apart and engage like no other gems on the global stage.
She further expanded on how Samir Gems DMCC offers a chance to reach out to the world stage in a more emboldened way, given Samir Gems DMCC’s current presence in major markets such as Belgium, Mumbai, New York and Hong Kong. All being major markets that account for the demand of the highest quality stones globally, in both rough and finished forms.
It is noted that Joint Ventures like these are a chance for NAMDIA to unlock greater value, through the bolstering of relationships with sight-holders and increasing revenues through downstream beneficiation. NAMDIA Board Chairperson, Bryan Eiseb added that, “To sell a Namibian diamond is to sell the story of this nation and its people.”
After his keynote speech, he expressed how each diamond from Namibia embodies the beauty of its people, and a unique means to put the nation’s name on the world stage. He further hoped that Namibian diamonds will draw more visitors to the country to experience not only its history around their recovery but also to experience the equally majestic and unique offerings of its tourism industry.
By providing 100% Namibian rough diamonds to the world, NAMDIA delivers on its mandate to ensure each diamond generates the most value for Namibia. This event and past activities of NAMDIA prove that these are not words but actions that the entire NAMDIA staff lives everyday.
NAMDIA is not only committed to putting the story of Namibia’s diamonds on a global stage but also to investing in Namibian communities. Through the NAMDIA Foundation, NAMDIA’s Corporate Social Responsibility vehicle which was founded with the purpose to combat Namibia’s social and economic ills through the fields of Education, Health & Sports. NAMDIA has invested over N$ 30 million, since inception into various charity and philanthropic programs and anticipates continuing being involved in life changing initiatives in Namibian communities.
With each carat NAMDIA markets, it is not only putting the unique story of Namibia’s Diamonds on the world stage but actively contributing to Namibia’s socio-economic development. That is why all of NAMDIA’s team is proud to say. “We are NAMDIA, and we are the promise of Namibian diamonds fulfilled.”
Find out more about how NAMDIA fulfils the promise of Namibian diamonds at www.namdia.com.