President Yoweri Museveni will be the chief guest the 6th annual Mineral Wealth Conference (MWC) that will be hosted by Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) from October 4-5, 2017.
This is according to Dr Elly Karuhanga, the Chairman, UCMP’s statement that has been released today Thursday.
“In previous forums, our focus was mainly on showcasing Uganda’s mineral potential, advocating for value addition and attracting exploration investment. This was all geared towards creating a conducive and favorable environment in the mining sector,” says Dr Karuhanga.
Adding, “We feel the time is now for Uganda to start earning significant revenues from its natural resources. Fortunately, our patron, President Yoweri Museveni, who has always advocated for the addition of value to our minerals, will be in attendance to lend his significant weight to this drive.”
Organized in partnership with the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development, this year’s conference will be held under the theme “Minerals – “Knocking on the door to cause economic transformation in Uganda.”
The conference will be held Kampala Serena Hotel with an entry going for $300 for nationals and $500 for international delegates.
The forum will also include an exhibition on the sidelines with booths going for $1,000.
A diverse mix of delegates is expected to attend led by mining stakeholders, drawn from the private and public spheres, development partners, financial institutions, insurers, academicians, lawyers, logisticians, and energy and construction companies amongst others.
Robert Kasande, the new Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Dr. Kabagambe-Kaliisa, a senior presidential advisor on oil and gas and minerals and Edwards Katto, the Director, Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines, will be among the speakers at the October conference.
Uganda enjoys a wealth of mineral deposits including gold, vermiculite, copper, graphite, iron ore, tin, tantalite, tungsten, nickel, platinum, graphite, limestone, phosphates, clays with rare earth elements just to mention but a few.
Some of these resources, like the vermiculite in Eastern Uganda, which competes favorably with South Africa’s in both quality and quantity, are world class deposits.
However, they have not been fully exploited mainly because extensive exploration countrywide has not happened yet.
A 2015 Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) report noted a 6.3 percent increase in the total value of selected minerals produced, growing from Shs158 billion in 2013 to Shs168 billion in 2014.
These numbers though, are significantly low. Industry watchers for instance believe that the right support can see Uganda easily become the world’s leading vermiculite producer within the next 5 to 10 years.
With the mining policy and laws undergoing a review to match the private sector needs, stakeholders are optimistic that this potential will soon be realized.
The annual MWC is East Africa’s flagship mining convention; playing a significant role in highlighting the huge untapped mining potential of Uganda and the region.