June 22, 2005
Lazare Kaplan and USAID Partner in Angola
Lazare Kaplan International Inc. and the U.S. Agency for International Development are entering a public-private partnership which will promote and improve delivery of social services and opportunities for economic growth in the diamond-rich Lunda Norte province of the Republic of Angola. The official signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two partners took place June 17 at the U.S. Embassy residence in Luanda, the capital of Angola.
LKI plans to provide $1.5 million over three years to support improved access to health care, education and credit facilities for local communities in the province. USAID will match these resources and coordinate with the government, provincial government officials and the local community to effectively provide program design, management and oversight assistance.
"Now that peace has returned to Angola, the focus of the Angolan government is to give priority to policies that advance the economic and social development of the nation for the benefit of the people of Angola. The diamond sector in Angola has a great potential to contribute to Angolašs development and to a stable social economic environment," said Maurice Tempelsman, chairman of LKI. "Although a great deal of work remains to be done, it is expected that the cooperation flowing from the agreement signed today will make an important and lasting contribution. We are happy to help launch this initiative jointly with USAID. We see this as an inclusive effort, not an exclusive one, and we invite many of those present at the signing, and some of those not present, to join in this long-term commitment."
USAID is a U.S. government agency that brings technical assistance and other expertise to foster economic development projects around the world.
by Peggy Jo Donahue