The world largest tanzanite buyer, billionaire Morris Gad is putting up a state-of-the-art tanzanite processing plant at the outskirts of Arusha.
Gad, chairman and CEO of Diamonds International, the largest jewelry retailer with 140 locations in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and other parts of the world, is partnering with the Arusha based gemstone firm, Signature Gems.
Jacob Hassid, Diamonds International managing director, announced on Wednesday that the firm had taken over a factory opposite Pepsi Cola along Njiro Road in Arusha.
The plant, conceived after Gad’s last month trip to Tanzania, which he usually conducts on an annual basis, is expected to be operational in a month and create employment to nearly 200 workers, chiefly women.
Under a 1000 square metre factory, about six kilometers from the newly inaugurated city centre, it is anticipated to turn Arusha into a major gemstone producer and exporter.
“We are very comfortable and confident that in a few weeks we will employ 200 women to start with, train them on how to cut and polish rough tanzanite for the export market,” Hassid said in a press conference.
Reading a message from Morris Gad, the company’s general counsel, Elchonon Shagalov said the most prominent memory he has about his journey was the kindness of local residents.
“I was very impressed how we were welcomed into their country with warmth and open arms,” the gemstone investor noted in his written message, stating further that “My motto has always been, when someone does well to you, reciprocate that goodness.”
Gad said that his mission has been to lay the basis for economic growth for local people and now the creation of the gemstone cutting plant was a dream come true.
The women would be employed to create a unique tanzanite jewellery line for sale in Diamonds International locations.
“This project is to enable Tanzania to become more prosperous and help the beautiful people reach their goals. I look forward to working together and I have hopes that this project will be a complete success,” the investor underlined.
Signature Gems managing director Sailesh Pandit said the joint venture factory could go down in history as one of the largest and ambitious gemstone processing plants in the region.
“I am very grateful to my partner, Morris Gad for walking his promise made last month that he would come back and invest heavily in the country to create employment,” the director intoned.
SOURCE: GUARDIAN ON SUNDAY