Martin Rapaport, an old hand and diamond consultant, has taken a swipe at the developed countries for doing very little about the situation in Africa and proposed another scramble for the continent that would save lives.
In his address that rose emotion at the just ended Antwerp Diamond Conference, Rapaport said that “Africa is up for grabs and Europe has to move in as fast as possible”.
He said the diamond rich countries of Africa have not yet benefited from the resources saying China and India are now stealing their jobs.
“Botswana is important and needs to transcend; and other countries, like Sierra Leone, Liberia and DRC need some help,” he said.
Rapaport also attacked the high level of unemployment and poverty that are ravaging Africa, saying the situation is revolutionary.
He said life expectancy in most of the African countries has dwindled and children do not reach the age of five, while women are being raped everyday.
“There would be wars (in Africa) if the beneficiation does not work,” he said, adding that Africans do not want charity but dignity and a serious private sector.
“Charity is evil; charity is bad and people are crying, saying stop giving us charity but give us dignity. Why is China doing so well while Africa is not?” he asked.
Rapaport said the developed countries need to invest in AfricaÔÇö especially diamond producing countries ÔÇö rather than letting China and India steal “black jobs”.
China and India are the world’s leading diamond cutting and polishing destinations and the industry there employs millions of people though they do not produce diamonds. India last produced diamonds over three hundred years ago.
“What is necessary for Africa is the private sector of the Chinese, Indians, Jews and the black people,” he added.