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IGI, CEEC Further Efforts on Congo School of Gemology

Congolese representatives receive IGI diplomas in Antwerp.
Jul 10, 2011 11:02 AM   By IGI
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Press Release: Following the March 2011 announcement for intent to establish a School of Gemology in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the International Gemological Institute (IGI) and the Centre of Expertise, Evaluation and Certification of Precious Minerals and Semi-precious Stones of Congo (CEEC) report progressed efforts in solidifying plans for the school.

Through the support of the European Union (EU), IGI and the CEEC sent 15 representatives from the Congo to IGI’s School of Gemology in Antwerp, Belgium for 11 weeks of intensive training in rough, polished and colored stones. As a result of the IGI classroom time, these individuals will be able to serve as leaders in Congo as the school takes form.

The training culminated at a June 30th graduation ceremony where IGI Graduate Gemologist diplomas were awarded and efforts lauded by 40 attendees, including dignitaries Henri Mova Sakanyi, Belgium ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Alexis Mikandji, general director of the CEEC; Mathieu Yamba, technical director of the CEEC and chair of the Kimberley Process; Maurice Fischler, president of the diamond bourse; and Jacky Roth, vice president of the diamond bourse.

From IGI, CEO Roland Lorié, Partner Herman Brauner and COO Deborah Pienica, were also in attendance. The date of the ceremony also held special significance, as June 30 is Congo’s National Day celebration and awarding the G.G. diplomas on this date was a celebration of another new start.

“Congo is fortunate to be one of the richest countries in natural resources worldwide,” said Sakanyi at the graduation ceremony. “However, after extraction, most of the minerals and diamonds are exported. With the establishment of an IGI School of Gemology, the people of Congo will hold onto the resources longer through trading, sorting and/or polishing and further benefit from the resources native to their land.”

The EU support has also provided IGI and the CEEC the means to create a detailed and elaborate business plan for the School of Gemology. The development of these materials will serve as the map to the ultimate achievement of providing the Congo diamond industry the necessary experts, professional support and instruction in order to contribute to improving the accuracy of the country's collection of mineral revenues.

“We’re proud of the strides we’ve already made to bring gemological education to the Congo,” stated Lorié. “It is imperative we have a solid business plan in place, supported by expertly trained individuals who will help lead the way as the School of Gemology takes shape.”

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the second largest producer of diamonds in the world (source, Kimberley Process, 2009) and as such, there is a vital need for high-level professional gemological education.

About IGI

IGI began in Antwerp in 1975 and is currently the largest independent certification institute in the world with offices in Antwerp, New York, Hong Kong, Bombay, Bangkok, Tokyo, Dubai, Tel Aviv, Cavelese, Toronto, Los Angeles, Kolkata, New Delhi, Thrissur, Ahmedabad, Surat, Chennai and Shanghai. IGI is a worldwide organization and receives ISO accreditation in addition to being a member of the Responsible Jewelers Council. For more information please visit, www.igiworldwide.com.

Rapaport News is not responsible for, and does not endorse, the content of any press release. Press releases are not written by us and are provided only as additional information for our clients.

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Tags: IGI, International Gemological Institute
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