In Namayingo Eastern Uganda, miners carry out the pain staking task of extracting gold. Its an industry that could be about to boom. After government exploration surveys indicate, there could be huge deposits in the country. H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni said “We have got a lot of Gold 320 million tonnes of gold confirmed worth 12+ trillion USD.”
Uganda’s president wants most of this mineral resource to be refined locally in a bid to boost this nation’s economy. The president further said ” It is criminal for anybody to continue arguing for the continued export or raw materials in Africa when there’s 90% more value in that product that you are giving to the outsiders.”
Gold tops the list of Uganda’s exports followed by Coffee. Figures from the country’s energy ministries show that in 2019 and 2020, Uganda exported gold worth over 3 billion dollars to Hong Kong, the USA and the UAE and South Korea.
If estimates are correct, mineral development experts say this latest gold discovery could be worth more in revenues than the oil fields in the west of the country.
With 6.5 million barrels of oil available ti be tapped, many expected fossil fuel to be a key drive of Uganda’s economy. Now experts believe the gold rush could bring in big benefits. Winnie Ngabire says ” If that is indeed the volume that we have, its time to clean our house and say let us do business, let us develop our country, let us develop ourselves and go to the middle income status and beyond”.
Refining gold locally could enhance job creation and improve social service delivery for those living near to where the mineral is extracted but for now the government is hoping the discovery of this precious metal makes Uganda an attractive prospect for investors.