Oil triggers regional mineral growth

Thursday December 19 2013

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Nairobi- Discovery of oil in Uganda and Kenya has triggered mineral development in the region with natural gas in Tanzania and Rwanda, and other minerals like Nickel in Rwanda.

Currently, Tanzania’s gold exports comprise about 50 per cent of its total exports. Experts say the region, that has been dependant on agriculture as its major economic activity in the last 50 years, has now shifted attention to the mining sector following oil and gas discoveries.
Policy Researcher at Bank of Uganda Adam Mugume says: “The mineral wealth has the potential to attract Foreign Direct Investments into the region which could make it cheaper to exploit some of the mineral wealth.”

World Bank’s Kenya country director Diarietou Gaye, believes that the oil and gas sector will spur Kenya’s journey to achieving its national economic goals. “Commercially viable oil has the potential to substantially transform Kenya’s economy as well as the livelihoods of its people,” Mr Gaye said recently.

Because of the discoveries, the World Bank says the East African Community (EAC) states are projected to grow in 2013 – Kenya by 5.7 per cent, Uganda by 6.2 per cent and Tanzania by 7 per cent.