KIGALI - The majority of Rwandans are optimistic of their country’s economic future and believe that their lives are getting better by the day, a report released Tuesday by the global polling firm, Gallup, indicated.
The report is based on a research conducted last year, where all respondents were asked one question -”Right now, do you think the economic conditions in your city or area where you live, as a whole, are getting better or getting worse?” – and 62 percent said things were getting better.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Joseph Rwangombwa, said that this was proof that Rwandans are experiencing the benefits of the government’s programs.
“I am happy to hear that Rwandans have expressed that confidence in the country’s economic development programs,” he said.
“Rwandans are all aware of the Vision 2020 and they know it means economic development. They also have confidence in their government. They have seen results, they have seen improvements in their livelihoods and they have confidence that the vision will be implemented as set”.
Internationally, Rwanda was rated sixth and in Africa only Djibouti polled higher. China topped the rankings with 81 percent of their population optimistic with the direction their country is taking.
Among the African countries where economic optimism was lowest was Kenya where 72 percent of the citizens said it would probably get worse, 18 percent said it would be constant while only 10 percent said that it would do better.
Despite its natural richness in minerals, citizens in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo 56 percent of the nation’s citizens determine that the economy will get worse while 28 percent think that the economy will not change at all.
In Burundi, only 30 percent expressed optimism while in Tanzania 29 percent and only 34 percent in Uganda.
The study, which covered 117 countries, was conducted through telephone and face-to-face interviews with approximately 1,000 adults, aged 15 and above.
In the face of the global economic crisis, Rwanda’s economy grew by 7% last year, and is expected to grow by 6 percent in the 2010/11 financial year.