Arusha gem fair set to start at end of month

18Apr 2016
Our Reporter
The Guardian
Arusha gem fair set to start at end of month

MINISTRY of Energy and Minerals, in collaboration with Tanzania Mineral Dealers Association (TAMIDA), has organised a three-day Arusha Gem Fair (AGF).

Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo

The international gemstone fair is to involve all players in the Tanzania’s mining industry as well as licensed gem dealers, jewelers and gemstone miners.

“The gem fair will be held at the Mount Meru Hotel at the heart of Arusha city,” organisers said in a statement.

Organisers said that this year’s fair is in line with fulfilling the government’s ambitions of turning Arusha into Africa’s largest gemstone hub.

The fair is to link more than 100 exhibitors from east, central and southern African countries with over 500 international buyers. The fair is also expected to involve renowned stakeholders in the field of gemstone.

The AGF is also meant to scale-up mineral business in sub-Saharan Africa. The government has issued a temporary suspension of gemstone exports between April 5 and 28, this year.

“We wish to confirm that gems to be exhibited at the 5th Arusha Gem Fair (AGF) this year will be granted permission for temporary importation in accordance with the requirements of the laws governing temporary importation. However, for control purposes, you will be required to confirm your participation along with the goods you intend to bring to AGF in advance,” organisers said.

“The move is meant to ensure that there are enough gemstones on display during the exhibition,” they added. According to the ministry’s statement, export permits will be granted from April 19 until the fair is completed.

The 2016 AGF is expected to attract about 65 exhibitors from Tanzania, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Mozambique, Madagascar and Uganda.

The list will have some of the most reputable names in the business including the likes of Tanzanite One Mining Limited, Williamson Diamond Limited (Petra Diamonds), GIA (South Africa) and many others. A comprehensive list will be printed on the AGF 2016 Show Guide.

The show features a wide variety of colored gemstones and diamonds. Fair activities will include showing of rough and cut stones, lapidary equipment, educational material, lapidary demonstrations, seminars and panels, keynote speakers and mine tours.

A thousand times rarer than diamond, tanzanite is an extraordinary gemstone that is found only at one place worldwide, Mirerani, Tanzania. The stone is most commonly blue, surrounded by a hint of purple, giving it a magnificent colour.