The 2018 edition of African Gems & Jewelry Exhibition and Seminar (AGJES) will, reportedly, kick-off this week to draw global attention to the entire value chain from local artisanal miners to producers of finished jewelry with specific focus on Nigeria gemstones and jewelers at home and abroad, as well as gemstones and jewelry sourced in Africa and produced by Africans. It is scheduled to hold on 6 & 7 December, 2018 at the Nigerian Airforce Conference Centre, Kado, Abuja has the theme: “Mines 2 Market: Collaborating to improve industry linkages; healing Africa through Gemstones”
In her welcome address at the pre-event press briefing to herald the 2nd edition of the programme, held at the Ministry’s Headquarters, the Permanent Secretary, Barrister Georgina Ekeoma Ehuriah, MON, said the exhibition, which is being facilitate by the Ministry and major industry players is, among other things, meant to attract potential investors to the Nigerian Gems and Jewelry industry; put Nigeria on the global annual calendar of Gems and Jewelry events; and foster networks that will develop significant relationships locally and internationally within the industry.
Government, she noted, has identified the solid minerals as a growth enabler and viable revenue earner for the country and has made progressive efforts to overhaul the sector through sustained interventions which include funding of the Mineral exploration stage, Geophysical infrastructure and developing the legal Framework. Nigeria will, therefore, readily welcome relevant investors, who are keen in the 7 identified strategic minerals and the Gemstones to develop the industry and grow capacity to realize the potential benefits from Mines to markets.
Earlier in her opening address, the Chairperson of the group, Ambassador Mrs. Regina Edzuwah, stated that AGJES aims at providing an empowerment platform to Gemstone miners and jewellery makers and marketers to facilitate job and wealth creation. She decried the illegal mining and trafficking of raw minerals from the country and urged miners to set up processing plants and machinery in order to add value to the nation.
Amb. Edzuwah, among other things, noted that the 2-day tradeshow is expected to involve about 30 companies comprising artisanal miners, jewelers and relevant government agencies displaying their products; Mali, South Africa and other international exhibitors; Presidents of women in mining; two seminars on Women and Youth Advocacy and Awareness, Gemstones Pricing and Negotiating Dilemma, respectively, and Master Classes on Building the Jewellery brand and faceting: the ultimate goal in faceting.
Ambassador Edzuwah thanked the Management of the Ministry for their immeasurable contributions towards the success of the flagship event and solicited government’s support for artisanal miners through the provision of modern equipment that would make their operations more profitable.