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UNDP Bolsters Uganda’s Efforts to Exploit Mineral Resources

Uganda has some of the largest deposits of unexploited mineral resources in the world.

These include 3.8 Million tonnes of Kaolin which is used for making paper and ceramics; 2 million tonnes of gypsum – an essential raw material for plaster of Paris and fertilizers; 2 million tonnes of glass sand and 2 million tonnes of dimension stone.

Uganda also has abundant clay throughout the country.

This is not to mention precious minerals such as gold and diamond.

Yet Uganda continues to grapple with high demand for expensive construction materials and dimension stones.

The better part of clay tiles are imported from Asian countries especially China, this creating an unfavorable BOP position for Uganda and weakening the shilling.

The country is currently undertaking an ambitious national roads upgrade from gravel to tarmac hence the urgent need to exploit its industrial minerals such as Bentonite, here Clay, Diatomite,DimensionStones,Feldspar,Glasssands,Graphite,Gypsum,Kaolin,Kyanite,Marble/limestone,Mica,Phosphate(Apatite),Pozzolana,Salt(rocksalt,halite),Talc and Vermiculite.

The African Union Commission has since called on members to prioritise Development Minerals as part of Africa’s industrialisation agenda.


With the support of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Uganda is making strides in the development of the once neglected mineral resource sector.


According to the roadmap issued by UNDP officials, the policy review support for development minerals sector and feedback consolidation have been accomplished.

The site visits have been conducted as well as an Investment Promotion –Mineral Wealth Conference and a baseline assessment of development minerals sector.

Hope Kyarisiima, UNDP Country Coordinator – Uganda ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme told media at a conference in Mukono on Tuesday that the initiative intends to improve operating standards and technologies in small-scale mines and quarries through enhanced technical knowledge of small scale-private sector, associations/chambers, and public institutions in mine and quarry management.

She further pointed out that the roadmap for the development of minerals targets an improvement in environmental, health, safety standards and human and labour rights.

The programme also intends to “increase productivity, access to markets and working capital of the small-scale private sector in low-value mining through enhanced entrepreneurial skills of mining enterprises,” according to the UNDP official.

Launched in July 2015, the initiative “Capacity development of mineral institutions and of small-scale private sector operating in low-value minerals in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries” aims to help the sector contribute to the fulfillment of the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals, as well as toward the ACP Framework of Action on the Development of Mineral Resources Sector, endorsed by the ACP Committee of Ambassadors in 2011.

The three-year €13.4 million initiative is an Intra-ACP programme initiated by the ACP Secretariat, financed by the European Commission and UNDP, and implemented by UNDP at the request of ACP Group of States.

The initiative will support the small-scale private sector, mining, public institutions and communities in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States that operate in the low value mining and materials sector.

It will promote knowledge exchange to increase the sector’s productivity, help better manage mining operations to adhere to national and international environmental and health standards, and prevent conflict through effective community relations.

Catherine Nyakecho, a Geologist at Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines, said 70 percent of annual royalty is from industrial minerals and that of the 1 million people employed by the subsector, 25 percent are women.

She further said the construction industry demands (growing at 6 percent per year) contribute 12 percent of Uganda’s GDP hence the need to exploit the neglected mineral resources.

UNDP officials observed that value chains in low value mining should be strengthened through networking and improved capacity of the associations/chambers and public institutions to conduct market analysis and investment promotion.

On her part, Kyarisiima said ACP-EU Programme will improve access to geo-data in low value mining through enhanced technical knowledge, capacity and coordination of public institutions.

The programme also is geared towards reducing the risk of conflict between low-value miners, mining enterprises and local communities by building conflict prevention, dialogue and mediation skills of miners, communities, public institution, associations and chambers.

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