According to the Finance Ministry, Uganda’s gold exports fell to 1,199 kilograms in March 2020 down from 1,955 kilograms exported in February. The volume exported in March is just half of what was shipped out in January 2020, which totaled to 2,097kilograms of gold. United Arab Emirates is the biggest consumer of Uganda’s gold.
Gold bars. The mining, refining and transportation of the giltering product was hampered by coronavirus control measures
The monthly gold exports
dropped to the lowest in March as corona virus shutdown countries that consume
most of Uganda’s gold.
According to the Finance
Ministry, Uganda’s gold exports fell to 1,199 kilograms in March 2020 down from
1,955 kilograms exported in February. The volume exported in
March is just half of what was shipped out in January 2020, which totaled to
2,097kilograms of gold. United Arab Emirates is the biggest consumer of
However, the Middle East country also closed some businesses as
a measure to control the spread of coronavirus. The gold trade was
disrupted too. Another hindrance has been the disruption of transport from the
mines to the refinery. Uganda imports some of the gold that is refined in the
Restrictions on air travel meant a lot of this gold hasn’t been coming
through. In terms of money, Uganda’s gold earnings in March dropped to levels
last seen in January 2019. The country earned USD
61m (UGX 227B) in March 2020 down from USD 89m (UGX 331B) in February 2020.
is far below what the country earned in March 2019 (USD 363M), the highest
amount the country has even earned from its gold exports in a single month. President
Yoweri Museveni used Thursday’s State of the Nation Address to sound lyrical of
the country’s gold potential.
“We built a gold
refinery at Entebbe. That gold refinery was and is still being fought by the
neocolonial agents. We shall, however, defeat them,” he said. He said the refinery is earning US$1.3bn
(4.8trillion shillings) per annum for the country.
“When I was trying to
control the mining of gold in Uganda, I was opposed even by members of Parliament.
They do not want Uganda to have a gold refinery. Refineries do not belong to
countries like Uganda. They should be in Dubai, South Africa, etc., but not in
Uganda, according to these enemies,” he said.
Museveni said he would tell Lucy Nakyobe, the Statehouse comptroller to use
small innovation funds and ensure the country starts to “teach some of the
grand-children the skills of jewelry. “The rich Ugandan ladies will be able to buy
the gold jewelry made here instead of squandering money buying the same from
distant sources,” he said.
Indeed, despite falls
in exports in recent months as a result of coronavirus disruptions, Bank of
Uganda shows the country’s gold prospects are looking good. In the April 2020
monetary policy report, the central bank said gold exports rose to USD$ 1.3b in
the twelve months to February 2020 from USD585.7M in the year before.
The country also
imported gold worth USD 1.4b in the twelve months to February 2020 up from
USD551.9million, a year before. These numbers, BOU said, were supported by
operation of an additional gold refinery.