The Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), a Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) platform, has expanded its board of directors with the appointment of Dr. Robert Mhlanga, chairman of Mbada Diamonds, a Zimbabwean firm and Africa’s third largest diamond mining company.

Mbada Diamonds is a joint venture between the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, through Marange Resources, and the New Reclamation Group, through Grandwell Holdings, that has produced 22.4 million carats to date and over $1bn in revenue.

DMCC executive chairman, Ahmed Bin Sulayem, noted: “The Dubai Diamond Exchange has gained global recognition and is ranked among the world’s top three market places for rough diamonds.”

“We are delighted to have Dr. Mhlanga on our Board bringing his experience and depth of knowledge to our exchange – with prominent industry executives on the board of directors, we are confident of enhancing Dubai’s strength as an attractive diamond trading hub.”

In 2013, the DDE also appointed Levy Rapoo, CEO of the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator (SADPMR) and Professor Francis Pedzana Gudyanga, permanent secretary of Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, who replaced his predecessor.

DDE’s board chairman, Peter Meeus, added: “The prominence of high profile industry executives on the DDE’s Board of Directors reflects our truly global status in the diamond trade.”

Today Africa accounts for 61% of the world’s diamond production by value and 56% by carats, though the mining and sale of much of the continent’s diamond resource remains heavily impacted by ongoing conflicts or subsequently mired in political controversies.

Established in 2004, DDE is a member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and fully complies with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme combating conflict diamond sales.