On Monday, the new President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, visited Antwerp’s Diamond Quarter. In total, 52% of Sierra Leone’s diamond mining production goes through the city.
Mr Maada Bio’s predecessor, Ernest Bai Koroma, also came to Antwerp in 2014. The current President, in power since April of this year, stressed, “We are here to gain an understanding of an industry which a number of my fellow countrymen are not acquainted with, but which is of strategic importance to our country.”
Julius Maada Bio insisted that the diamond is a product which the entire population of Sierra Leone should take advantage of. He added, “The Antwerp World Diamond Centre is in the perfect position to assist us in developing our relationships with companies in the sector.” He also stated that his country had the ambition, ultimately, to polish its own diamonds.