Sierra Leone

The right opportunity

Sierra Leone recently emerged from a horrific civil conflict. Revolutionary United Front ("RUF") rebels made world headlines because of their use of brutal methods to enslave the local population to find diamonds. The diamonds that should have been a blessing for the people of Sierra Leone were instead a curse.

Now the country has been at peace for over five years and is quite stable. In April 2005, according to AFROL (Newswire for Africa), the British Foreign Office lifted travel warnings to the remaining parts of Sierra Leone, declaring the entire nation safe for tourists.  

The central government, with the help of international aid, particularly the United States Agency for International Development ("USAID"), is also rebuilding the diamond-mining infrastructure. Foreign investment is returning to the country and the legal mining trade increased over 60 percent last year, to over $140 million. In 2001, the year the civil war ended, legal diamond exports were only $26 million.

PRIDE intends to turn the curse of diamonds in Sierra Leone into the blessing they should be for all involved.