The Rwanda franc continued to make gains last month, depreciating by 0.39 per cent against the dollar, lower than 0.52 per cent depreciation rate recorded in March, a statement from the central bank indicates.
The franc’s depreciation was also lower compared to the other East African currencies, except the Uganda Shilling, the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) noted.
The Tanzanian and Kenya shilling had a depreciation level of 2.29 per cent and 2.45 per cent, respectively, against the dollar, while the Uganda shilling shed 0.33 per cent during the period.
BNR quoted the dollar at Rwf703.6/717.7 (buying and selling) at the end of last month compared to Rwf701.2/715.2 at the end of March.
BNR attributed the current depreciation of all EAC currencies against the US dollar to the growing strength of the greenback at international level. The US dollar appreciated against the euro and Great Britain Pound by 8.4 and 0.5 per cent, respectively, between December 31, 2014 and end April, 2015.
The central bank also noted that the franc had a lower depreciation against the dollar compared to other regional currencies due to its timely intervention in the foreign exchange market, selling US dollars through commercial banks.
However, forex traders told the Business Times that the intervention by the central bank, much as it comes in handy, cannot satisfy the current demand for dollars.
“There are a lot of economic activities going on in the economy as more people come to buy dollars to pay for imports, which forex bureaus and banks cannot satisfy,” said Fred Karangwa, the manager of Platinum Forex Bureau in Kigali.
Jean Claude Karayenzi, the managing director of Access Bank Rwanda, said they were trying hard to serve the current demand for dollars.