Unrefined gold imports from both Tanzania and Zimbabwe have pushed the two countries into becoming some of Uganda’s largest trade partners, according to data from Bank of Uganda.
It is the first time trade between Uganda and Zimbabwe has stood out after decades of lukewarm postings, while the recent surge has elevated Tanzania as the leading source of Uganda’s imports within East Africa, overtaking Kenya in more than four decades.
During June, according to data from Bank of Uganda, Zimbabwe was Uganda’s leading single source of imports, beating China and India.
During the period, the report noted, imports from Zimbabwe surged to $170.8m (Shs606b), which was high than the $122m and $100m spent on goods imported from China and India, respectively.
However, the report does not provide details of what was imported during the period but Ms Charity Mugumya, the Bank of Uganda director for communications, told Daily Monitor that the surge had been a result of increased demand for unprocessed gold from Zimbabwe.
“These are imports of unprocessed gold,” she said without providing more details.
According to data from the United Nations International Trade Statistics Database, in 2020, Uganda imported $203.57m worth of gold in unwrought, semi-manufactured and powder form.