Liberia has exported its first shipment of diamonds since a United Nations embargo imposed during the civil war was lifted in April this year after Liberia showed it would cooperated with a diamond certification system known as the Kimberley Process designed to prevent diamond from being used to fund war.
Liberian Information Minister Laurence Bropleh told VOA the income from the diamond sale will be used for roads, schools, health care, and other projects.
“The shipment of diamonds left Liberia on the sixth of September, 222 thousand U.S. dollar value, three percent royalties paid into the Liberian people’s coffers which amounts to about 6,666 United States dollars. This is a good day for Liberia,” he said.
Bropleh clarified earlier reports, which quoted him as saying that the first diamond shipment was worth 200 million dollars.
“No, that’s not true. About 222,000 United States dollars,”
Bropleh said the revenue from the sale of diamonds would augment Liberia’s budget and help in the funding of development projects.
“There are many things that need to be happening in Liberia. We are trying to redevelop the country. Our road infrastructure needs to be redone altogether. We’re trying to improve our education system. The president had said that there must be free and compulsory primary education. The government is committed. So these resources will go to benefit all of the Liberian people,” Bropleh said.
He said Liberia accepted the Kimberley Process because from now on it wants to be transparent with the resources of the country.