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The Rwandan franc has started to gain strength against the Ugandan shilling at Katuna, a month and a half after the reopening of the Uganda-Rwanda border.

The Rwandan currency has gained by at least 10% in the last few days since the borders were fully opened. Rwanda started a phased reopening of its border on January 31. Rwanda President, Paul Kagame had closed the borders effective February 27, 2019, after accusing Uganda of hosting Rwandan dissidents, abducting Rwandan nationals, and locking them in non-designated areas.  

Rwanda then issued a travel advisory to its nationals against travelling to Uganda, saying their safety was not guaranteed.   The border closure suffocated business including the exchange of money. Now, days after the border re-opening, money changers have started to foresee their business boom again after the Rwandan franc started gaining strength.  

Robert Katureebe, one of the prominent money changers at Katuna border says that so far, 1,000 francs trade at as high as Shs 3,350 buying and Shs 3,700 selling.

The Rwandan franc is gaining against the Uganda shillings even as the latter has been gaining steadily against other currencies like the US dollar and the Kenya shilling over the months. A currency losing exchange value is not necessarily bad, as it boosts the country's export volumes.

Katurebe says that when the border closed, the exchange rates declined to Shs 3,000 buying and Shs 3,300 selling per 1,000 Rwandan francs.  

Katureebe says that the gain is a result of an increase in the number of Rwandans heading home from Uganda and Kenya which has created a high demand for Rwandan francs at Katuna.

Franko Korinako, chairman of Katuna Traders’ Association says that business at Katuna is slowly being revived. He prays that the impasse never returns again because it put them into huge losses.  He says that as long as the border remains open, more people will cross and the money-changing business will boom like how it used to be. - URN/The Observer


(Kitco News) - Tanzanian Gold (TSX: TNX) announced today that it has been granted an extension to the renewal date for the Special Mining License (SML 04/92) at the Buckreef gold project in Tanzania.

The company said it received a certificate for Renewal of Special Mining License (SML) from the Mining Commission, a division of the Ministry of Minerals of the United Republic of Tanzania.

According to a press-release, the Special Mining License renewal period for Buckreef Gold has now been extended by an additional 5 years from 2027 to 2032.

"The company, along with its joint venture partner STAMICO and the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, is excited by the continued development and ramp-up of Tanzania's next large gold mine at Buckreef Gold," Tanzanian Gold said in a statement.

The duration of the Special Mining License covers the estimated life of mine, with specified renewals over that period. The company anticipates the life of mine will extend significantly beyond 2032, and therefore the SML will be renewed prior to the renewal date, in accordance with the requirements under the Tanzanian Mining Act.

"The company is delighted to receive this license extension and it is a testament to the significant progress being made at Buckreef Gold and the hard work by the team on the ground in Tanzania. We look forward to working together in building the next large gold mine in Tanzania," said CEO Stephen Mullowney. - Vladimir Basov, Kitco News


DAR ES SALAAM, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania's mining sector contribution to the national economy increased to 7.3 percent in 2021 from 6.5 percent recorded in 2020, an official said on Thursday.

Doto Biteko, the east African nation's Minister for Minerals, said the government's projection is to see the mining sector contributes 10 percent to the national economy by 2025 but this could be realized much earlier.

Biteko told a press conference in the capital Dodoma that the mining sector made history in the past one year when mineral sales reached 8.3 trillion Tanzanian shillings (about 3.6 billion U.S. dollars) and the government collected 597.53 billion Tanzanian shillings in taxes and royalties.

Biteko said Tanzanians' participation in the mining sector services increased from 43 percent to 63 percent when mining services collections were 579.3 million U.S. dollars.

He attributed achievements in the mining sector to reforms undertaken under the administration of President Samia Suluhu Hassan, including the improvement of mining conditions for artisanal miners who contributed to 30 percent of mining activities in the country.

Biteko said the reforms have led to the creation of at least 44 gold trading centers and 70 other minerals trading centers across the country which have helped to stop smuggling of minerals outside the country. - Xinhua

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