KIGALI – Earnings from Rwanda's mineral exports more than doubled to $373-million last year from the previous 12 months, supported by a rebound in global prices of commodities, a top official said.
After meeting sector players in the capital Kigali on Tuesday, Francis Gatare, chief executive at Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB), told journalists last year's earnings were "fantastic".
Mining is Rwanda's second largest foreign exchange earner after tourism and the East African country took in $166-million from exports of the commodities in 2016.
The growth was "driven by very strong commodity prices on global market ... good prices of new commodities particularly gold and gemstone," Gatare said.
He said Rwanda planned to install two smelters to help add value to some of its minerals such as tin and coltan and that earnings were seen climbing to $600-million in 2019.
The country has been trying to draw foreign investment into new sectors like auto making and textiles to boost an economy still shadowed by the 1994 genocide in which an estimated 800 000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus died.