Angola declared end of the ivory sales, but sellers are unaware (Luanda, Angola)


Club-K Angola

Date Published

The Angolan authorities have scheduled for Saturday the closure of
ivory-selling stands in Luanda’s largest craft market—a plan that
vendors are unaware of.

A burning, scheduled for today, of hundreds of tons of tusks and ivory
pieces, in the province of Kuando Kubango, is the act which will mark
the ban on ivory trade in Angola, inserted in the celebrations of
World Environment Day, June 5, taking place in the country. A
statement from the Ministry of the Angolan Environment explains that
the measure is adopted in compliance with the provisions of the
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and
Wild Flora Endangered (CITES), which has been in force since January

Lusa was at that market today in Benfica, on the outskirts of Luanda,
where it continued to find benches full of ivory for sale. Some
vendors showed ignorance about the measures planned for Saturday,
claiming not to be informed that it would be illegal to sell ivory in
the market, with about forty stands selling this product. “They were
here, a people’s government in March, talked with us about the ivory
sales, said it would be prohibited, but gave no time to stop to sell,”
the seller Emanuel Philip, a trader on the market since 2006, told
Lusa. According to Philip, after meeting for about two months, a
registration of vendors was made and it was agreed that the
authorities would buy any product.

“They asked the list of products of each bench, we gave and we are
waiting for them to tell us something,” he said, adding that, with the
money, you want to invest in other material such as wood, to continue
with the business. Another ivory products trader, who requested
anonymity, when asked about how much he expected to receive from the
government for the goods on display, said it was difficult to
estimate, but said the ivory is the business that “most walks” in that
existing market since 1989.

The closure of ivory objects sale stalls will be extended to the whole
Angolan territory, in compliance with international obligations
assumed by Angola, including the Elephant Protection Initiative and
the Angolan legislation on protection and preservation of species of
flora and wild fauna. The government measure takes place during the
celebrations of the World Environment Day, to be marked on Sunday,
celebrations that several foreign delegations are in the country for.
These delegations include the Minister of Namibia Environment, Shifeta
Pohamba, and the Regional Director for Program Africa of United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Julliete Koudenoukpo.