Uganda is endowed with several natural resources which are commercially viable. The contribution of mineral development in the country is critical in expanding product development and import replacement. The minerals sub sector’s contribution to GDP steadily improved from 1.1 percent in FY 2015/16 to 1.4 percent in FY 2018/19. Over the NDP II period, Government has prioritized investment in the discovery, exploitation and development of the natural resources for the betterment of the people and improving the country’s competitiveness.
The discovery of Oil in 2006 coupled with the existence of significant minerals deposits in the country position Uganda’s positive development trajectory. Uganda has an estimated oil potential of about 6.5 billion barrels, of which 1.4 billion barrels is recoverable. The NDP II further prioritized enhancement of several minerals with the potential to drive growth and employment. The identified minerals include; Gold, Iron Ore, limestone, copper, phosphates, uranium and dimension stones among others.
In oil and gas sub sector, the following investments have been fast tracked and are different implementation stages. These include;
i. Establishment of the oil refinery;
ii. Construction of the crude oil pipeline from Hoima to Tanga in Tanzania;
iii. Construction of the Kabaale International Airport to facilitate the transportation of equipment and machinery for the development of the oil refinery;
iv. Construction of 12 oil roads totaling 700km for transportation of heavy oil related equipment and machinery.
In minerals development, the following are the achievements.
i. Commissioned the Sukulu Phosphate and Steel project
ii. Mapping, registration and organization of artisanal and small scale miners
iii. Construction of mineral beneficiation centres and mineral laboratories for value addition and to strengthen institutional research capacity in geosciences
iv. Discovery of mineral occurrences such as iron ore, copper, nickel, cobalt, rare earth, graphite among others. In addition, airbone survey of Karamoja region commenced.
All these investments will play a central role in developing a sound minerals sector with the potential to transform the country from peasant low income country to a middle income country as envisaged in the middle income target outlined in the NDP II.
Resulting from the above investments, the value of mineral exports increased from 1.55 trillion shillings in 2017 to 1.89 trillion in 2018.