ECONOMY: Rwanda‘s economic growth impressive – WB Official

Africa’s growth is expected at 2.4 percent this year, a half of the growth rate last year. Rwanda has made remarkable progress since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, with both political and economic stability, a senior World Bank official who visited Kigali recently said.

Africa’s growth is expected at 2.4 percent this year, a half of the growth rate last year.

Rwanda has made remarkable progress since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, with both political and economic stability, a senior World Bank official who visited Kigali recently said.

Marwan Muasher the World Bank‘s Senior Vice President for External Communication and UN Affairs, said last week that given the considerable ground lost during the genocide, over the 15 years Rwanda has greatly improved on key economic and social indicators of development.

“The ability to move beyond conflict and growth to economic development offers a very good example. Despite the enormous challenges including limited natural and human resources, the country has moved beyond all this,” Muasher said.

This was during a media briefing at the World Bank, country office to conclude his visit to Rwanda.

Muasher attributed the growth to Rwanda’s committed and visionary leadership that has taken the country through reform to achieve impressive economic growth rates.

 “Rwanda offers a good example for other countries in Africa on how to move ahead and go beyond the conflict. It has growth rates that are among the best in Africa. Even with the present financial crisis, Rwanda will still be able to attain growth at very respectable rates,” he said.

In 2008, the Rwandan economy experienced its first double-digit real growth rate in over five years, at 11.2 percent. Due to the current global economic crisis, Rwanda‘s growth is expected to drop by 5 percent.

According to Mausher, despite the expected fall in economic growth, Rwanda’s economic growth remains impressive not only on the African continent but also global economy.

He observed that compared to the global economy which is expected to shrink by 1.7 percent, Rwanda’s 5 percent projection is still respectable.  Africa’s growth is expected at 2.4 percent this year, a half of the growth rate last year.

Rwanda’s impressive economic growth is attributed to tremendous growth in the agricultural sector last year.

The strongest contribution came from the food crop production which grew at 16.4 percent and accounts for around 30 percent of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Muasher also mentioned that the World Bank has heightened financial support for the agricultural sector in Africa, after realising the potential of the agriculture sector to fuel economic growth and development in developing world.

“Agriculture is a very important driver of economic growth in Rwanda. It has been proven that it leads to growth in a very substantial way, particularly in Africa. The Bank is increasing its support in recognition of this fact,” he said, citing the productivity of the rice plantation in Bugesera that is now producing 8 tonnes per hectare.

Economic growth indicators include, growth in GDP and investment, macroeconomic stability, lending and inflation rates, central government debt and growth in industrial production.

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