Economy grows by 7.7% in third quarter

A woman in a cabbage farm in Musanze District. According to the report released by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, agriculture contributed 28 per cent to GDP in the third quarter of 2018. Sam Ngendahimana.

Rwanda’s economy grew by 7.7 per cent per cent in the third quarter of 2018, buoyed by strong performance in the service and industry sectors, according to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR).

This puts the economy on track to achieve the projected annual growth rate of 7.2 per cent.

Yusuf Murangwa, the Director General of NISR, said that at 48 per cent, the service sector is the leading contributor to GDP, followed by agriculture which contributes 28 per cent.

Between July and September 2018, the industry sector grew by 12 per cent, services 7 per cent, while agriculture grew by 5 per cent.

Under agriculture, food crops grew by 3 per cent as export crops grew by 6 per cent, driven by tea exports.

However, there was a one percentage decline in coffee exports. The statistics agency says it is yet to look into the reasons for the drop.

According to the report, manufacturing and construction activities increased by 10 per cent and 17 per cent respectively.

In manufacturing, beverage production grew by 15 per cent while textiles and leather increased by 17 per cent.

The mining sector maintained growth trends seen all-year long and grew by 7 per cent. Under the sector, coltan increased by 89 per cent while wolfram grew at 43 per cent.

Growth in the service sector was driven by wholesale and retail trade (12 per cent) transport was boosted by air transport (32 per cent) as well as ICT (17 per cent) and financial services (8 per cent).

Hotel and restaurants activity increased by 13 per cent.

The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana, said that they are certain to attain the 7.2 per cent projections.

He put growth projections for 2019 at about 8 per cent.

He also noted that the Government is keen to address weaknesses within the private sector which he said would present risks to growth in the medium term if left unchecked.