Diamond cartel creates astronomical wealth for Europe and America
- The diamond industry sells $500 million in industrial gems each year and $60 billion in diamond jewelry.
- Today the De Beers cartel still controls at least 80 percent of the world diamond trade.
- De Beers’ mines in South Africa produce about 12 million carats of the gem every year.
- The United States absorbs 50 percent of the world's diamonds, with an estimated 70 percent of American women owning at least one rock.
- Africa has vast amounts of diamonds but African people live in misery and poverty
- According to a recent study, between 1937 and 1996, $15 billion worth of diamonds were exported and sold from Sierra Leone. Yet more than half the people of Sierra Leone live on about 30 cents a day.
- In 10 countries in Africa the life expectancy is 46 years. Sierra Leone has the highest infant mortality rate in the world with 284 deaths per every thousand live births.
- Today, 12 years after the end of apartheid in South Africa, 40 percent
of Africans in the cities are
unemployed and 70 percent in rural areas. Sixty-one percent live below the poverty level, while only about one percent of whites live in poverty. Two-thirds of African people have no electricity.
- In Namibia, unionized diamond workers live in abject poverty in hovels without running water, electricity, health care or education for their children. The men live in compounds separated from their families. They are given bunk beds without mattresses to sleep in and are exposed to radiation and other health hazards. Africa and all of its resources are the birthright of every African person in the world
- A growing movement of African people around the world is calling for the wealth of diamonds to be used for economic development for Africa itself. Profits from diamond producing countries in Africa would go a long way towards housing, feeding, clothing, educating and providing excellent health care for every man, woman and child currently living in desperate poverty in Africa.
- Africa does not need charity programs. There is a growing movement, led
by the African Socialist
International, for African working people themselves to control their own land and resources for their benefit.
- Most of West Africa has a life expectancy in the 40s, no electrical grid, no water purification and no health care. The people are grossly undernourished, lucky to have one meal a day. The Uhuru Movement is building African-led community based West Africa Development Projects to bring services to the people.