KAMPALA – Uganda earned Shs590 billion from gold exports in the month of June 2020 amid concerns that the country is promoting illegal trade in the precious mineral in the neighbouring DR Congo.
Data from Bank of Uganda indicates that the country exported 3,012 kilogrammes of gold, up from 2,470 kilogrammes exported in May, and 1,180 kilogrammes exported in April. A lot of this gold goes to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Uganda has continued to offer exit route for illicit gold smuggled from the war torn Democratic Republic of Congo, despite international pressure, fueling conflict in the country, a report by the Wall Street Journal shows.
Uganda now has two gold refinery factories – African Gold Refinery in Entebbe and Gold Refinery Uganda in Kampala. The opening of these refineries has particularly been the cause of the surge in gold that goes through Uganda, according to the central bank.
On several occasions, the United Nations panel of experts has also been on record accusing Uganda In recent months, record amounts of gold dug from artisanal mines in the conflict zones of Eastern Congo have been smuggled across the porous border with Uganda, where it is being stamped with fake certifications before being shipped to international markets in Dubai, Mumbai and Antwerp, according to Ugandan officials of dealing in conflict gold from DRC and Juba.
During the state of the nation address in June, president Museveni thump chested himself for resisting what he called as neocolonialism mentality by people who had resisted construction of a gold refinery in the country.
“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. The refinery is earning US$1.256billion per annum,” the President said.