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Uganda exported gold worth Shs 1.3 trillion in March

President Museveni at the opening of Africa Gold Refinery in 2017

President Museveni at the opening of Africa Gold Refinery in 2017

Uganda exported gold worth $363 million (about Shs 1.3 trillion) in March alone, according to Bank of Uganda.

This is the first time the country has exported gold worth that much in a single month. This brings the total export for the three months to March 2019 or the first quarter of 2019 to $493m (about 1.8 trillion), this is slightly lower than the $ 549 million (about Shs 2 trillion) exported in the whole of 2018. It was the first time Uganda had exported more gold than coffee. This year it is likely to be much more.

Whereas these are exciting figures for the economy, they add more questions to the source of Uganda’s gold as the country doesn't produce any significant amounts of gold herself. A source told URN the exports could be the gold from Venezuela that was imported into the country at the start of this year.

Uganda police had confiscated the 3.6 tons of gold in March 2019 which had been brought into the country by African Gold Refinery (AGR). Police said it had originated from South America-country and the AGR had re-exported another 3.6 tons from the same place.

It was later released on the advice of the attorney general who said the gold had entered the country legally. URN analysis also shows that Uganda exports to United Arab Emirates jumped to $259m in March alone up from $73m in February. This jump could be an indicated that some of that gold was exported there.

UAE is Uganda's main market for gold. Last month, Bank of Uganda said companies and individuals importing gold for refining in Uganda and reexporting it, must classify its origin in an effort to stop the trade in conflict minerals. The order is one of the efforts to understand the source of the country's bulging gold exports.

A December 2018 report by the United Nations Security Council expert's group showed that it was not yet compulsory for importers in Uganda to show the origin of their gold, fuelling trade in conflict minerals from countries like Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. 

“The new order, after the December UN report is that refiners and importers must classify country of origin," said Dr Adam Mugume, BOU executive director for Research. He said the central bank did not know the origin of the bulging gold exports. 

"The refinery is for the entire world. The dealers can bring in gold and refine it to 99 per cent to almost what we call gold bars. It comes all over the world," Mugume said.


0 #1 WADADA roger 2019-05-19 22:51
Come on, how could Uganda export that amount of gold when we dont have any known gold deposits in Uganda or may be as usual we stole the gold for Congo.

The last time i heard of gold deposits in Uganda was in Karamoja and guess who was the minister for Karamoja.

We later heard that all the areas that were suspected to have gold were under a 24 hour surveillance by the UPDF.

These UPDF guys are not there any more meaning that all the gold was exploited and minister transfered.
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0 #2 Ugandan Patriot 2019-05-20 01:16
Uganda exports mobile phones and other products to South Sudan, Eastern Congo yet clearly we don't assemble phones or manufacture some of these exports

And no one gets excited speculating how that trade import/re-export could be supporting nefarious activities.

Switzerland and other European countries export chocolate, coffee clearly byproducts of tropical produce this so called UN panel of experts is silent as a grave about it regardless whether forests are illegally cleared to grow those crops or even grown on stolen land.

Rwanda exports coltan that it cannot clearly account for. So this feigned indignation at Uganda's gold exports is a bit puzzling.
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+2 #3 Jojo 2019-05-20 09:51
No need to wonder. Uganda gets gold from Congo. In Congo we have a lot of gold in Congo and uganda.

In my area where we work we can afford 20 kgs per week and Uganda is a good market for us. Most congolese who export to Uganda have license to do so. And Our Gold purity is the best from 94% to 98% that's why we get people from dubai interested in congo''s gold
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+1 #4 Lysol 2019-05-20 20:34
Uganda leaderships will soon be listed as those who are violating sanctions, by doing business, aiding and abetting dictatorial regimes around the world such Venezuela and many others.

Museveni and his cronies can do anything to get money to keep the regime alive.

They have no shame, since they have already sold their souls to the devil. DESPERATE AND PATHETIC. There is no gold in Uganda. .
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0 #5 Rukundo 2019-05-23 10:26
Sarada's comment is uninformed!

Whereas the figures look engineered at best, and it is indeed plausible that we export conflict gold from The Congo Uganda does have many gold deposits in Busia, Mubende, Isingiro, Karamoja, West Nile, Kiboga to mention but a few.

If you do not believe me, look at the online mine cadastre map maintained by the department of geological survey and mines and see how many companies have applied for licenses to explore for gold.
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