Gold exports in Uganda have gone against Covid-19’s interference to develop in an unsuitable environment. This is according to a statement by the Bank of Uganda.
Data from the Bank stipulates that between June 2020 and May 2021, a total of Shs18 trillion ($5.1b) was earned from exports, a 27.7 per cent increase, as compared to Shs13 trillion ($3.7bn) earned in the same period between 2019 and 2020.
The significant increase helped the country to sustain a stable foreign exchange mechanism, and in particular against the dollar. Continued growth in non-traditional exports such as gold has contributed a lot to the performance. According to one Dr Fred Muhumuza, an economist and lecturer at Makerere University- School of Economics, gold has been a principle factor in the increase of export numbers in the period in question.
During the aforementioned period, gold income was $2.24b (Shs8 trillion), which is nearly half of the $5.1b (Shs18 trillion) of comprehensive export earnings. In the same period between 2020 and 2019, the figure grew from $1b (Shs3.6 trillion). The country had raised a total of $3.9b (Shs14 trillion) in export receipts.
The Uganda Export Promotions Board export promotion executive, Mr John Bosco Lwere, confirmed that earnings from gold have boosted export receipts by approximately 127 per cent, saying that this trend could persist when trade normalises. Lwere also said that besides gold, other exports including coffee- which has for some time been Uganda’s leading agricultural export commodity; and flowers also registered an addition in earnings. Coffee receipts increased from $489m to $496m (Shs1.7 trillion).
Tea, another traditional export, recorded an increase in revenue from $72m to $84m while flower exports yielded $61m up from $51m.
Fish and its products exports, on the other hand, suffered a reduction, dropping to $119m from $148m. Most of Uganda’s fish exports are taken to the European Union, which has largely been affected by lockdowns in different member states.