Commodities in East Africa

The EAC countries are richly endowed with a variety of mineral resources.

Kenya has four belts of minerals - the gold green stone belt in western Kenya, which extends to Tanzania; the Mozambique belt passing through central Kenya, the source of Kenya’s unique gemstones; the Rift belt, which has a variety of resources including soda ash, fluorspar and diatomite; and, the coastal belt, which has titanium.

Rwanda has deposits of cassiterite, a tin ore, which is a very important ingredient of electronics components. The mineral is also found in Walikale, in DRC’s Northern Kivu Province, a part that borders Rwanda in the east. Other potentially profitable minerals include wolframite, columbite-tentalite, amblygonite and tantalite (colttan). Gold has also been explored in some parts of the country. Some semi-precious stones including tourmaline, topaz, corundum, chiastolite, amethyst, opal and agate have been discovered.

Tanzania has a wide variety of minerals including diamonds, gold, base metals, gemstones (including the unique Tanzanite) and a variety of industrial minerals (such as phosphates, mica, gypsum, limestone, graphite, quartz and vermiculite) that have a wide range of applications in ceramics, pottery, brick and tile-making, and glass manufacture as well as nickel, cobalt, copper, apatite, niobium, iron ore and coal.

Uganda also has a variety of mineral resources including copper, cobalt, tin, iron ore, tungsten, beryllium, limestone, phosphates, salt, clays, feldspar, diatomite, silica sand, glass, sand gravel, and construction materials such as granites and gneisses.

Investment opportunities exist in mining stone for the construction and building industry, phosphates for agriculture, salt for domestic and chemical uses, iron ore for the iron and steel industry, kaolin for leather tanning and pharmaceuticals, and silica sand and trona for glass manufacture; exploration and development of mineral deposits including oil, gold, copper, cobalt sulphide and hematite iron.

East Africa is considered a hub for financial, transportation and communications infrastructures in  Africa. East Africa has a high mining potential and already ranks as the third largest producer of soda  ash and the seventh producer of fluorspar in the world.

East Africa presents a wealth of minerals whose most are yet to be explored and exploited. Some of these commodities include: 

  • Gold
  • Iron Ore
  • Titanium 
  • Niobium 
  • Zinc
  • Gypsum
  • Diatomite
  • Rare Earth Minerals 
  • Gemstones

Non-Metallic minerals: 

  • Fluorspar
  • Soda ash
  • Limestone
  • Salt
  • Talc
  • Kaolin