By Josephine Christopher
Dar es Salaam — Tanzania’s gold shipment hit $3 billion mark for the first time as price of the precious metal increased in the world market.
According to the Bank of Tanzania, the value of the exports of gold to $3.025 billion in the year ending March 31, 2021, compared with $2.324 billion recorded previously.
Gold started attracting higher prices since last year following the outbreak of the Covid-19 which disrupted economic activities and markets around the world.
As financial markets were hit by the pandemic, investors rushed for gold which they consider as one of the safe haven assets.
Since last year, gold exports overtook that of tourism which has been hit by Covid-19.
During the year to March 2021, gold exports accounted for 55.9 percent of non-traditional exports after increased by $701.3 million to $3.025 billion. The increase is associated with “an increase in the market price of gold and government initiatives in supporting the mining industry,” the central bank stated.
“The rise in prices of gold and oil are, respectively, explained by cumulative impact of rising prices and subdued demand at the onset of Covid-19,” the BoT added in its monthly economic review for April.
On the other hand, revenue from tourism sector which was once the country’s leading foreign exchange earner reduced to $885.2 million at the end of March 2021 from $2.598 billion recorded in the same period last year.
Travel receipts declined due to containment measures instituted by various countries against the Covid-19 pandemic including lockdowns and travel restrictions. Consequently, the number of international arrivals declined to 514,625 from 1,511,944 in the year to March 2020.