Home Politics Himbara’s tendentious claims on the high value of Rwanda’s gold exports busted

Himbara’s tendentious claims on the high value of Rwanda’s gold exports busted

By Jean Gatera

Miners working in Rwanda. Locally based smelters have added much value to the Rwandan industry.

Anti-Rwanda groups, composed of groups analysts usually identify as genocide ideologues and terrorist militia activists, have been made furious by a recent report that Rwanda’s gold export increased.

The Central Bank of Rwanda announced that gold exports grew from US$ 21.7 million in 2019 to US$ 244.3 million in 2020. Since November 2019, Rwanda began to refine gold before exportation, “a game changer in terms of export value addition,” analysts at Rwanda’s Central Bank say.

This progress, however, has angered hostile forces that immediately expressed their discontent.

The outcry began with David Himbara, the notorious Rwanda National Congress (RNC) terrorist militia propagandist; Filip Reyntjens, Peter Verlinden and others followed suite. As it is usually the case they just delved into an oversimplified analysis, and drew the conclusion that Rwanda could not be making such positive economic strides.

Their tactic was to question the source of the gold that led to the positive export results. This, analysts say, exposes a lack of understanding of basic gold business.

According to goldprice.org, the price difference between refined gold and unrefined was about US$ 30,000 per Kilo on 1 January, this year. Furthermore, the price of refined gold increased, from us$ 48,000 to US$ 65,000 per kilo. “The combination of better prices per kilo, the price increase of the commodity and the increase in volume explain to increase in revenue,” an economist pointed out.

Also, certificates of origins of exported gold along with various mechanisms are used to control official gold records. “The idea that the central bank of any country would include illicit minerals in its account is simply ridiculous”, said the economist.

Rwanda’s central bank (BNR) was clear: the high receipt from the mineral sector was mainly due to the factory that adds value to gold which started operations in Rwanda in 2019.

“Obviously, such an added value will not please groups with an anti-Rwanda agenda,” said a Kigali-based observer. “They spend a lot of time trying to tarnish Rwanda and positive news is just bad news for them.

“With a commodity transformation infrastructure that gets Africa to stop exporting raw materials and gets better value for its products, anti-Rwanda groups know this is a game changer!”

One of our sources said that casting doubt on the Rwandan figures is just propagandistic if other examples are taken into account. “For instance, there is no gold mined in Belgium, but gold is its fourth biggest export commodity, representing an income of US$ 1.67 billion per year!”

So, our source points out, “Himbara’s claims, supported by the likes of Verlinden, that Rwanda cannot justify US$ 244.3 million earning from gold are pure nonsense.”

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