The region has an extra ordinary natural resource in its wildlife. Governments in the region have designated large areas as national parks or game reserves, which are great tourist attractions.
For instance, about 25% of Tanzania’s land is designated as game reserve or national park and includes the largest game reserve in the world: the Selous in southern Tanzania.
The region is also endowed with a variety of minerals, including fluorspar, titanium and zirconium, gold, oil, gas, cobalt and nickel, diamonds, copper, coal and iron ore.
Mineral Resources in EAC
|Country||Precious metal, Gemstones & Semi-Precious Metal||Metallic Minerals||Industrial minerals|
|Burundi||Gold||Tin, Nickel, copper, cobalt, niobium, coltan, vanadium, tungsten||Phosphate, Peat|
|Kenya||Gemstones, gold||Lead, zircon, iron, titanium||Soda ash, flour spar, salt, mica, chaum, oil, coal, diatomite, gypsum, meers, kaolin, rear earth|
|Rwanda||Gold, gemstones||Tin, tungsten, tantalum, niobium, columbium||pozzolana|
|Tanzania||Gold, diamond, gemstones, silver, PGMs||Nickel, bauxite, copper, cobalt, uranium||Coal, phosphate, gypsum, pozzolana, soda ash, gas|
|Uganda||Gold, diamond||Copper, tin, lead, nickel, cobalt, tungsten, uranium, niobium, tantalum, iron||Gypsum, kaolin, salt, vermiculite, pozzolana, marble, soapstone, rear earth, oil|
|South Sudan||Gold, silver||Iron, copper, tungsten, zinc, chromium||Oil, mica|
Source: EAC Vision 2050 and South Sudan Development Strategy
Such mineral resources present an opportunity for development of the mining industry, which is currently underdeveloped.
The region has several water masses in the form of freshwater lakes, rivers and marine waters. The freshwater masses (lakes and rivers) harbour much biodiversity that can be exploited as food and also create employment. Other lakes are special because they either have hot springs or harbour rare species of birds such as the flamingo, which makes them tourist attractions. The marine waters at the coast provide food, employment and a source of foreign exchange. The coastal beaches are a major tourist attraction in both Kenya and Tanzania.
Ports at Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, among others, serve both the region and the landlocked countries bordering the region.