Wednesday, 5th July 2017 (Nairobi, Kenya)… The Ministry of Mining in conjunction with the Association of Women in the Extractives Industry in Kenya (AWEIK) have organized the first ever Gem and Jewellery fair in Kenya set to take place 6-7th July 2017 at the Intercontinental Hotel, in Nairobi Kenya.
The Trade Fair is the first of its kind in Kenya and will bring together various women and youth groups as well as local, regional and international traders in gemstones and precious metals.
Speaking during a media briefing in Nairobi, Cabinet Secretary for Mining, Hon. Dan Kazungu said, “The aim of the Gem and Jewellery trade fair is to not only position Kenya as a regional hub for precious minerals, value addition and trading but also to promote and create awareness among the youth, women and the general public of the opportunities available in the precious minerals sub-sector.”
The three-day event also supported by the Kenya Chamber of Mines hopes to provide further business development services to its members by facilitating improved access to markets.
“This year’s Gem and Jewellery Trade Fair will include an exhibition and a mine tour to Taita Taveta which is the heart of the Gemstones in Kenya”, said Lucy Githaiga the chairperson AWEIK.
Kenya is endowed with over some of the world’s most sought after gemstones such as the blue Sapphire, Ruby, Tsavorite, Green and red Garnet, Aquamarine among others. “With a fast growing Gemstone sub-sector, regional trade platforms such as the Gem and Jewellery Trade fair are aimed at creating opportunities and open up markets for local miners (both small scale and large scale) to redirect focus on precious stones and metals to Kenya”, he added.
Most of these gemstones are exported abroad in their raw form for processing and value addition fetching a much higher value at the expense of the miner; it is thus in regard to this that the Ministry has established the first Gemstone Value Addition Centre in Voi Taita Taveta County to enhance the value of our mineral in an endeavor to fetch competitive prices at the international market.
“The value addition process will greatly encourage local miners and traders of these stones since they will now market finished goods instead of export them in raw form. Similar Value Addition Centres will be replicated in mineral rich counties for facilitating value addition. The Gem Centres will be for identification and certification, faceting/cutting, polishing and heat treatment, it will also provide training and marketing”, said CS Kazungu
The hosting of this Fair will afford the country a great opportunity to show case her mineral wealth and also encourage mining rich communities to embrace mining as an economic activity that has immense potential to transform not only the socio-economic wellbeing of Kenyans but also contribute to the national economic growth.
Similarly, the Trade Fair will present a platform for both investors and locals to interact market and share experiences on how best to maximize on the huge potential that lies in this lucrative and yet to be fully exploited sector.
Mining is a multi-trillion sector that can transform any economy in a very short time when fully explored and exploited. This Fair is therefore testimony of what the Sector portends for investors and national economies.
In the last one year Kenya has jumped 16 places to position 86 from 102 in the global mining destination attractiveness survey by Fraser Institute. By creating an enabling environment for our miners, the Ministry hopes Kenya will become a top destination for mining investment. With a fast growing Gemstone sub-sector, regional trade platforms such as the Gem and Jewellery Trade fair are aimed at creating opportunities and open up markets for local miners (both small scale and large scale) to redirect focus on precious stones and metals to Kenya.