Economy to outpace 2011’s growth – BNR
Rwanda’s economy is expected to grow faster this year compared to last due to reforms in its key agricultural and industrial sectors, which propelled its expansion in 2011, Central Bank Governor Claver Gatete said on Friday.
The country has had a better run on inflation than others in east Africa, including Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania where double digit inflation and weak currencies prompted authorities to increase interest rates to around 20 percent in some cases.
Rwanda’s 2011 gross domestic product stood at 8.6 percent compared to 7.2 percent a year earlier, spurred by a strong growth in the key farm sector, as well as industry and services, the central African country said last month.
“We are more likely to exceed that,” Gatete said.
“We are seeing reforms on the industry side, in addition to the key reforms in the agricultural sector,” said Gatete at an event where the country’s biggest bank, Bank of Kigali announced plans to expand in the region.
“The signs are good, by any means.”
In March, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the landlocked country’s economy could expand by 7.5 to 8 percent in the next two years. The IMF however warned of the risks of a revenue shortfall.
Rwanda’s inflation was steady at close to 8 percent, the lowest in the region, helped in part by the reduction in fuel taxes and good harvest.
“Last year, our initial target was 7 percent, but by the end of the year, it was 8.6 percent. So this year we also hope it is going to be much better. And, even what we see in the first quarter then we are almost more optimistic.”
Gatete indicated that the economic growth figures for the first quarter would be released at the beginning of August.