Initiative to promote local ownership and participation in diamond industry launched by Andre Messika
Diamond merchant, Andre Messika, a supplier of polished diamonds to the luxury jewellry market, on Tuesday, launched its Employees Share Participation Trust at an event held in Windhoek.
The historic initiative for the local diamond industry, saw Andre Messika donate 25% of its shares to its local staff.
Messika which manufactures rough diamonds polished below 1 carat, employs approximately 50 and has since become the largest employer of disabled and hearing-impaired people in the country.
Speaking in a keynote address, Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon. Kornelia Shilunga said the initiative is a significant step towards achieving the goal of promoting local ownership and participation in the sector.
“Before the year 2007 when we were negotiating to have our diamonds beneficiated locally, we envisioned our diamonds to benefit Namibians by creating a diamond cutting and polishing industry that would contribute using employment, transfer of skills, and economic empowerment. Today we are witnessing that vision in its totality,” she added.
Also present at the event was Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC), Chief Executive, Brent Eiseb who said that the groundbreaking initiative will not only mean that employees benefit directly from the success of the operations but more importantly it will further strengthen the commitment of the Andre Messika Diamond’s employees to ensure the long term sustainability of the local operations.
“Andre Messika’s success is synonymous with the success of the downstream industry,” he added.
NAMDIA Chief Executive, Alisa Amupolo in a speech read on her behalf meanwhile said the initiative brings great excitement to the diamond industry as a whole particularly the potential it holds to create sustainable wealth for the employees of Andre Messika Diamonds.
According to Amupolo, the establishment of the Employees Share Participation Trust empowers employees to become owners of the company.
“Through this trust, they will gain a tangible stake in the organisation’s success, aligning their interests with the long-term prosperity of Andre Messika,” she said, adding that through downstream beneficiation, NAMDIA can drive added value and increased profitability by leveraging the overall economic value generated within the industry through our finished products.
Meanwhile, NDTC said it has made available more than N$75 billion worth of rough diamonds to NDTC stakeholders for value edition. According to the latest rough diamond import and export data, approximately 85% of the rough diamond carats sold by NDTC to its stakeholders are being fully processed in Namibia.
From left Marc Friedman Operations Director Andre Messika; Joseph Kunyenga Andre Messika employee; Ilan Messika CEO Andre Messika; Hon Kornelia Shilunga Deputy Minister; Gerhard Januarie employee Andre Messika.