The exhibition aims to showcase the country’s vast mineral potentials. The exhibition used to be held annually for nine consecutive years was halted in 1998 after the government had discovered that some dealers were abusing gemstone licences for their personal gain.
The event organizing committee chairman, Mr Abe Suleiman, said the four-day event entails to show rough and cut stones, jewellery, lapidary equipment and education. He said there are 40 pavilions at the exhibition grounds and a number of buyers and sellers are expected to meet and conclude deals and establish crucial business links.
According to the chairman, the buyers are expected to come from USA, Canada, Brazil, Europe, India, Thailand, Australia, Japan, South Africa and some neighbouring countries. “This is going to be a show for qualities and not quantities,” Mr Suleiman said. He said the show will be restricted to those who have been officially registered to participate, mostly licensed gemstone dealers.
He said that booths are available at a minimal fee of 500 US dollars under the first come-first served basis. A statement issued by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals last week said that a significant number of local licensed gemstone dealers have registered to take part and more are expected to do so before the deadline set on March 28.
“Through this regional concept, the participating countries will be able to share resources and knowledge, in order to build a value-additional infrastructure that brings more direct benefit back to their countries,” the statement reads The event, designed to be an annual affair, will feature all the gemstones mined in the country.
The Ministry of Energy and Minerals estimates that the previous gem-shows generated up to 600,000 US dollars (about 900m/-) annually. Seven such exhibitions were held at the Mt Meru Hotel in Arusha from 1992 to 1999. With the gem-show and raw tanzanite export ban, revenues are likely to up sharply.
Other high value gemstones, whose demand in foreign markets remains high, are being mined in various parts of the country. They include diamonds, emerald, ruby, saphhire, amethyst, topaz, aquamarine, tourmaline, quartz and rhodelite.