The Bank of Uganda (BoU) has released a report on Wednesday suggesting that gold exports for the first time overtook coffee as the country’s top foreign exchange earner for 2018, fetching $514.8 million.Traditionally coffee used to top Uganda’s export list but in the commodity earned $436 million last year, representing a 21 percent slump from the previous year.
Gold was therefore the leading export commodity, solely fetching the most revenue.
The BoU report indicates that a total of 13,216 kilogrammes of gold were exported out of the country in 2018, up from 10,380 kilogrammes sold the previous year.
Uganda’s gold exports started to rise sharply in 2015 after the commissioning of a major refiner known as the African Gold Refinery (AGR).
According to central bank records the country’s overall export earnings for the year ending 2018 were $3.6b up from $3.4b earned the previous year.
Other commodities that contributed to the increase in Uganda’s exports were fish, oil and maize.