THE STORY-SIERRA LEONE, APRIL 1-4, 2019
Monday, Apr 1
On Monday evening April 1, a group of 26 international diamantaires from around the world including USA, UAE, India, UK, Switzerland, Turkey, Canada, Spain and Israel landed in Sierra Leone. The purpose of their visit was to identify economic growth opportunities in Sierra Leone.
As the members of the group landed, they were met and escorted by Rapaport representatives according to their arrival schedule. They then made their way through the local ferry transportation crossing from Lungi Airport to Freetown
In the evening, Martin Rapaport welcomed the Rapaport Trade Mission followed by a Welcome Dinner at the Atlantic Lumly Hotel, where everyone got to know each other.
Tuesday, Apr 2
Early the next morning the group packed their overnight bag and and drove up country to Kono District where they got to meet the mayor of Koidu – Komba Matthew Sam and ate lunch with paramount Chiefs.
In the afternoon they got a tour of Koidu town where they met the people and spoke and interacted with the locals, feeling the people and hearing their story.
They visited Artisanal Digger Sites. Experiencing the life of a digger. They gathered around the diggers asking them about their efforts and hearing how unfruitful their hard work is.
Later that day they went to visit the Diggers Association and the Kono Miners Union where they heard about the hardships in Sierra Leone and exchanged ideas to help the people.
Then they enjoyed dinner with the diggers
Wednesday Apr 3,2019
On Wednesday they went to visit the village of Koryardu. They walked around the village, met the elders and visited the local school listening and giving encouragement to the villagers.
For lunch they sat with the Diamond Dealers Association.
They went into town to see the development of the village from the fruit the Peace Diamond sale has given the village. They got a chance to speak to the Paramount Chief and sat face to face with the local people engaging and speaking about development opportunities
The highlight of the day was hiking through the jungle to the exact location where the Peace Diamond was found. This was a huge opportunity for participants to experience the hardships which local diggers face every day. They then returned to Freetown for dinner.
Thursday Apr 4
On Thursday morning they attended the Development Diamond Conference and met with the Minister of Mines Dr. Morie Manyeh.
They then had a chance to tour free town, meeting locals and seeing the country.
The Trip concluded with a cocktail party at the US Ambassador’s house in Sierra Leone, Ambassador Maria E. Brewer.