Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE), a subsidiary of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), has expanded its board of directors with the appointment of senior representatives from South Africa’s key regulator and Zimbabwe’s mining ministry.

Levy Rapoo, the CEO of the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator (SADPMR), is responsible for regulating the flow of diamonds and precious metals from South Africa and is taking on the position on the board alongside a key advisory role to Suasan Shabangu, South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources on matters pertaining to the Kimberley Process.

Professor Francis Pedzana Gudyanga, permanent secretary of Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Mines and Mining Development since September, has replaced his predecessor at the ministry Prince Mupazviriho in the DEE’s corresponding board role. Gudyanga, prior to his present role spent five years as the permanent secretary for Science and Technology Development.

Peter Meeus, chairman of the DDE, noted that the prominence of high-profile industry executives on the board reflected the organisation’s global status in the diamond trade.

Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman of DMCC, added that the DDE had gained global recognition and was ranked among the world’s top three market places for rough diamonds.

“We are well positioned to cater for the trading needs of producing countries in Africa and the consuming countries in Asia along, what we call, the new silk route,” he commented.

Africa accounts for 61 % of the world’s diamond production by value and 56 % by volume, according to the DDE, and upon his appointment, Rapoo noted that the diamond exchange is the first to formalise the importance of African producers.

Established in 2004, the DDE is a member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), and a keen supporter of WFDB initiatives.

As the UAE is a signatory to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, the DDE fully complies with the process and ensures that all rough diamonds traded in the country have been mined in a legitimate matter through the DMCC-located UAE Kimberley Process Office.