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The dark heartwood of the Mpingo, which is why the west calls it African Blackwood, is one of the most economically valuable timbers in the world. It has perfect properties for carving and it has a wonderful finish. It is used for carving ornaments in Tanzania whilst the western world uses it to make woodwind instruments. The loss of the export and carving industries in Tanzania would ruin local economies and would devastate the instrument manufacturers in the west. In countries like Kenya the Mpingo is considered to be seriously threatened.