GIA Exhibits at Africa Education Week for the First Time
Institute introduces 1,000+ students to gem education
More than 1,000 African students were introduced to gem and jewelry education opportunities at the Career Indaba trade show in Johannesburg, June 20-22, as part of the seventh annual Africa Education Week. GIA (Gemological Institute of America) exhibited at the event for the first time, building on its endeavors bringing industry-leading gemological and design education to the nations that produce diamonds and other gems. The Institute’s representatives met with prospective students, handing out education materials and discussing gemology and jewelry program options.
GIA, a global independent organization dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry through research, education and laboratory services, was the only organization of its kind to exhibit at Career Indaba. Attendees learned that a passion for gems and a keen eye are the two most important prerequisites to embark on an education with the Institute, which offers courses in diamonds, colored gems, pearls and jewelry design.
“GIA was new and exciting to the students, and responses about our education programs have been pouring in since the event,” said Elizabeth Bokaba, GIA’s manager of alumni and client relations in South Africa. “Africa Education Week is an outstanding opportunity to reach students who wish to enrich their studies. We absolutely plan to return in the future.”
Since 2008, GIA has expanded its presence in Africa, opening two full-time laboratories and offering classes in Gaborone and Johannesburg, establishing partnerships with government agencies and universities throughout the continent, and maintaining a global network of active alumni. Today, there are more than 800 alumni and two GIA Alumni Chapters in Africa.
Many students and schools were also interested in GIA’s Junior Gemologist Program™, which gives students from ages of 10-15 the opportunity to discover the world of gemology through hands-on, practical training. Plans are currently underway to expand the program, which was introduced to Africa in 2012.