Jewel of Africa (JOA) began selling jewellery in the U.S. in 2002 to a client base of around 10 individuals. Since then, our international market has expanded dramatically and in turn, customs clearance grew complicated. In one particular incident, Ms. Rashmi Sharma was forced to take the next flight back to Zambia upon her arrival into the U.S. as she did not have a clearing agent. We then turned to the United States Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub (The Hub) for assistance. The Hub not only linked JOA to a U.S clearing agent, but also enabled us to take advantage of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). According to an Article published by the Hub, “AGOA is the cornerstone of U.S. economic engagement with the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. AGOA helps eligible nations diversify their exports by providing duty-free access for nearly 7,000 tariff lines to the U.S. market, creating jobs and fostering inclusive economic growth.”
Jewel of Africa has become Zambia's largest vertically integrated gemstone business, conducting the mining, cutting and polishing of gemstones, jewellery manufacture and retail. We operate six jewellery stores in Zambia, an active e-commerce website to enable customers to shop online and a sister company in the USA, registered in Delaware, the inception of which is a direct result of the AGOA Trade Agreement in place between Zambia and the U.S.
Jewel of Africa exemplifies the potential that the United States AGOA offers to African exporters. So much so that Hillary Clinton made special mention of Jewel of Africa at the Launch of U.S. - Zambia Chamber of Commerce in 2011.
“[Rashmi and Raj Sharma] used the AGOA trade preferences to expand their local jewellery business all the way to the United States. Now, that’s good for Zambia, but it’s also good for American consumers who want high quality, beautiful jewellery, some examples of which I saw yesterday at the exhibition at the convention centre.”
- Hillary Clinton
Thanks to AGOA and the experience over the past 20 years, we have been continuously improving our standards in jewellery manufacture. This has led to Jewel of Africa becoming the first to impregnate DNA into emeralds at a nano level to give it proof of provenance. Our Mine To You concept provides evidence that it is mined responsibly in Zambia, cut and polished and manufactured into jewellery here, thereby creating sustainable employment within Africa, changing African lives.
Articles For Download:
AGOA: SUSTAINING DAZZLING PROSPECTS IN ZAMBIA - Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub