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Rwanda’s Mineral Export Earnings Surge

by Daniel Sabiiti
2:17 pm

Prime Minister Dr. Édouard Ngirente (2nd left) inspects some of the minerals processed in Rwanda.

Rwanda’s mineral export revenue have increased from the $772 million to more than $1.1 billion, closing in on the target of generating $1.5 billion in annual mineral export revenues by 2024.

A report published by the Rwanda Mining and Gas Board (RMB) February 15, 2024 showed that the above growth recorded in 2022 and in 2023 represented a 43% growth year on year.

Mineral export earnings for the fourth quarter of 2023 (October to December) reached $252.99 million, marking a 34.9% increase compared to the same quarter in 2022.

Cassiterite generated 431,035 Kilograms worth $6,487,192 in October, 416,231 Kilograms worth $6,274,000 in November, and 446,342 Kilograms worth $6,923,495 in December.

Coltan generated 159,297 Kilograms worth $6,907,161 in October, 128,887 Kilograms worth $5,364,535 in November, and 180,393 Kilograms worth $6,630,391 in December.

Wolfram generated 182,099 Kilograms worth $2,293,588 in October, 183,395 Kilograms worth $2,296,577 in November, and 274,493 Kilograms worth $3,298,468 in December.

Gold generated 1015 Kilograms worth $62,133,934 in October, 823 Kilograms worth $52,961,965 in November, and 1320 Kilograms worth $87,521,667 in December.

Other Minerals have also contributed 1,229,563 Kilograms worth $1,111,177 in October, 1,725,993 Kilograms worth $1,720,701 in November, and 819,833 Kilograms worth $1,064,737 in December.

One of the rare gemstones found in Rwanda

Way Forward:

The mining sector is currently second foreign exchange earner, after the tourism sector, and the Prime Minister Dr. Édouard Ngirente has the sector to do more to attain the country’s development agenda 2024.

During the presentation of the country’s status in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic impact in the industry, PM Ngirente showed on February 13, 2024 that while most sectors were affected, the mining sector grew by 12.1% due to reforms in the sector and increase in exported minerals to the international markets.

To increase production and efficiency, RMB and stakeholders are focusing on increasing skilled labor in the industry.

Last year Rwanda, through the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) program gained an additional 2,000 certified miners, reducing the number of unqualified personnel in the industry whose lack of skills has at times been the cause of accidents in the sector.

Rwanda currently 75,000 miners to date and the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), training program, aimed at offering on-site technical skills to unschooled workers, is supported by the Belgian government through its development agency- Enabel, the Rwanda Mining Board (RMB), TVET Board, Mining Association (RMA) and Rwanda Extractive Industry Workers Union (REWU) among others.


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