RAPAPORT... The Braitwood Institute of Gemology plans to open two additional diamond cutting and polishing schools in Bulawayo and Mutare, Zimbabwe, by September, according to the government run Herald. The institute's chief executive Bernard Mutanga stated that the new schools would assist more students with learning the trade.
Braitwood works with the country's Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe* to develop training programs. Students who enroll learn diamond grading in addition to cutting and polishing skills, according to the government. The program takes three years to complete and includes an internship. Class tracks cover rough diamond cutting and evaluation, and diamond cutting and polishing.
"Such [training] centers are vital to the country's economic growth as they create employment while adding value to products. Our aim is to train entrepreneurs who, after acquiring their certificates, would go on to establish other centers and employ other people," the Herald quoted Braitwood chief executive Bernard Mutanga saying.
Mutanga added that, by his estimation, for every unpolished carat that is exported, Zimbabwe misses out on 10 hours worth of billable labor. ''Once we have trained the youths all those jobs that we are exporting to India will benefit our own people," he was quoted saying.
*The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe is on the list of U.S. and E.U. sanctions.