Dubai Diamond Exchange (DDE) has appointed Isak Katali, the Minister of Mines and Energy for Namibia, to its board of directors in the third such appointment to occur recently, under efforts by the Dubai Multi Commodities Exchange (DMCC) to strengthen ties with Africa.

Katali was appointed as deputy minister of Lands, Resettlement and Rehabilitation in 2000, and has also served as both regional secretary for the Namibia National Teachers Union, and deputy national research coordinator for the Southern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality.

He noted: “On behalf of the Republic of Namibia, I feel privileged to be part of the success story of the DDE, as the first diamond exchange to formally recognise the importance of the African producers, and I look forward to bringing a unique perspective to the global diamond trade.”

Peter Meeus, chairman of the board of DDE, added: “A rounded understanding of the global diamond industry is essential to drive growth and achieve our goals. Through experienced leadership and advisors, we have solidified the exchange’s truly global status and we look forward to more experts joining our team.”

Earlier this month, DDE also appointed Robert Mhlanga, chairman of Zimbabwe’s state-connected Mbada Diamonds, and in 2013 also appointed Levy Rapoo, CEO for a key South African regulator and Professor Francis Pedzana Gudyanga, another Zimbabwean representative.

DMCC executive chairman Ahmed Bin Sulayem commented: “We are committed to Dubai’s position as an attractive trading hub for all global players, and Minister Katali’s years of experience and insight are a welcome addition to the exchange’s board.

“As we increasingly look toward Africa, his presence will help us to solidify collaboration between producing countries and [our platform’s] consuming countries in Asia.”