Monday, September 20, 2010

Martin Rapaport and Fair Trade Diamonds

Just been watching the documentary "Diamond Road" on television, have watched all the parts, and is an interesting document. There is a section, an ongoing story that is very sad, and disappointing, sad because people are willing to cheat blacks in Africa, and even more sadder is that the blacks do not care that their fellow blacks work under such intolerable conditions. The documentary is disappointing in that though he tries as hard as he can, Martin Rapaport a Jew, faces silly obstacles in his journey to create a fair trade system. He is a man of foresight, but what the greedy traders and government officials do not understand, is what he is proposing for Sierra Leone is actually what would mean more money circulating in Sierra Leone. I say a Jew, because firstly, the blacks should be more concerned than him, secondly Western jews, those who have never been to Africa and Asia tend to be just as racist towards blacks as Anglo Saxons, Germans, Belgians and French, they believe in the racial theories that blacks are inferior in most cases, that blacks are only good for sports and comedy,one guesses they need to fit in and to do that in the West one must be a racist, everybody buries their heads at what caused the problems in Africa,the agitation of the West, now they feel it is destroyed, they will say our hands are not dirty knowing the mess they have created will take centuries to resolve.

Here is the jest of fair trade diamonds a I have understood it, what Martin Rapaport wants is a system where from the diggers, to the traders buys diamonds at a fair price, it will mean less profit for the end dealers, and more for the diggers but there is a lot of resistance, especially in Sierra Leone from the seven licensed dealers and the government, these seven licensed dealers, I never saw one who is black, have to pay bribes, so even if they want fair trade, the government will not encourage it. The blood diamonds remain destructive, though know longer called blood diamonds the situation remains basically the same, the guys at the bottom remain shafted even by their own government, not understanding that what Mr. Rapaport is proposing means more money to people who will actually spend the money in Sierra Leone,sad, as an economist, I understand it clearly, in fact I would suggest that the diggers cut out the middle man and auction their diamonds with Martin Rapaport from the onset, but then the government officials who love their fellow Africans will be getting no bribes, each day millions of dollars leave that could have remained in Sierra Leone.

That Mr Rapaport is genuinely concerned is extra ordinary given the slew of characters he meets with, the saddest of the characters was a certain Mr. Chris Aire, the website says from Benin but I thought I had from Nigeria. When martin Rapaport asked him to join him and trying to create fair trade, Chris Aire shot down the idea saying people do not want charity, where is the charity in splitting profits fairly, sad because here is a black who obviously has made wealth by selling to wealthy blacks looking down on the blacks who are down trodden, that is what it seemed like, nothing wrong we are all individuals, choose what is good for you, but he seemed to be embarrassed by the fact that people are poor in Africa, they are poor they are poor do something if you can, but Chris Aire's embarrassment on camera was too shy, you know the poor kid who makes it big gets embarrassed by his humble beginnings, shame.

For good of Africa the ideas of Martin Rapaport are worth thinking about, a laborer in Canada mining the same diamond gets $19 - 24 per hour, in Africa $3 a day, a good that will be sold for the same price, then people wonder why Africa remains poor, and their battles end up been fought by the likes of Martin Rapaport, well done to him for standing up to reality. Obviously in Sierra Leone they could be paid the at least $3 per hour, the traders will still make a profit because they pay labor ten times that much in Canada and make a profit.

Bhekuzulu Khumalo

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Bhekuzulu Khumalo

I write about knowledge economics, information, liberty, and freedom