Rwanda’s trade to the East African Community (EAC) partner states has risen by 41 percent as reported by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. According to available statistics trade between Rwanda and the rest of the EAC grew to Rwf 197.1 billion from Rwf 138.8 billion in 2008.
The increase comes a few years after Rwanda joined the EAC and just months after the country acceded to EAC protocols including the customs union and the common market protocol.
Rwanda’s decision to join the EAC, an economic bloc with a population of over 120 million, was received with mixed feelings. A number of skeptics argued that the country stood to lose. They went on to say that Rwanda’s nascent private will see a fall in revenue because of competition from the bigger companies within the region and the subsequent benefits for Rwanda.
There was also fear that with the increase in competition, manufacturers in Rwanda will not be able to compete favorably and end up being kicked out of business. However, the statistics have proved otherwise. The 41 percent rise in Rwanda’s trade to the EAC region is an indication of the immense potential of the region’s bloc.
The Central Bank has pledged to continue participating and playing a leading role in all activities related to the establishment of the EA Monetary Union with the protocol expected to be signed this year.
The gesture by the central bank is what is expected by all concerned institutions to make the EAC a reality for all Rwandans to benefit from.