MINICOM predicts 2009 economic slump

Rwanda is possibly going to face a slump in economic growth compared to what was registered in 2008, the Minister of Industry and Commerce (MINICOM) has warned.
Commerce and Industry Minister Monique Nsanzabaganwa (R) speaking during the Public accountability day. With her are PS Antoine  Ruvebana  (Photo J Mbanda)
Commerce and Industry Minister Monique Nsanzabaganwa (R) speaking during the Public accountability day. With her are PS Antoine Ruvebana (Photo J Mbanda)

Rwanda is possibly going to face a slump in economic growth compared to what was registered in 2008, the Minister of Industry and Commerce (MINICOM) has warned.

Monique Nsanzabaganwa made the remarks while officiating at the MINICOM’s Public Accountability Day ceremonies held yesterday in Gikondo, Kigali City.

While Rwanda registered 11.2 per cent of economic growth last year, Nsanzabaganwa revealed that this level is likely to go down in 2009, partly because of the surging global economic downturn.

“Figures at the end of the first term show that global credit crunch will slightly have an impact on our economic growth,” she said in an interview.

She explained that prices have gone down for some products that Rwanda exports, citing coffee and skin products among the affected export sectors.

She was however optimistic that the country is undertaking tough measures to face the situation, noting the increase of quality and packaging for the products to be exported, which would also imply the increase in revenues.

“This would help us take our products to more particular and larger markets abroad,” she added, noting that much effort will be put at in controlling activities at the local industrial levels to increase the quality of production.

Another point to raise optimism, according to the minister, is the development of the tourism sector in the country, where more international meetings being organised and held in Rwanda help utilise hotel facilities and serve as an opportunity to visit and appreciate Rwanda’s uniqueness.

“Tourists and mountain gorilla visitors still come in the country as many as before,” she added.

Earlier on, Minister Nsanzabaganwa had told the gathering that the creation of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) is helping much in boosting investment in the country and facilitating in commercial registration processes.

RDB was created by merging seven parastatals most of which were formerly under the commerce ministry in a move that was aimed at improving efficiency of these organs.

The United Nations predicted that the global economy will shrink 2.6 percent this year as a result of the world financial crisis, a considerably deeper downturn than the 0.5 percent contraction forecast in January.

In its midyear economic projections, the U.N. said developing countries have been disproportionately hard hit by the global economic crisis.

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