COVID-19: Rwanda’s GDP growth to fall by 2%

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Rwanda’s Fiinance Minister, Uzziel Ndajigimana says the country’s economic growth is expected to decrease by 2% from 9.4% in 2019 as the coronavirus pandemic hits tourism, transport and hospitality.

The Finance Minister told parliament while presenting the draft budget for 2020-21 fiscal year, that the growth was expected to rebound next year to 6.3% and improve further to 8% in 2022.

He disclosed plans to increase government spending by 7.5% in the 2020/21 fiscal year to 3.245 trillion Rwandan francs ($3.43 billion).

Ndagijimana added that donors would fund 15.2 percent of the budget with the rest coming from revenue and debt.

“Agriculture will grow 3% from 5% last year, while industry will expand 4% from 17% a year ago. Services will grow 1% from 8% due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism and conferences,”

“Government investments will acquire 306.5 billion including a part allocated to supporting private companies hurt by Covid-19 effects and expansion of RwandAir,” Ndagijimana said, referring to the government-owned airline.

Rwanda has 314 confirmed coronavirus cases, with no deaths and 216 recoveries out of 53,317 tests done so far.

Rwanda has suspended international passenger travel restricted movement and banned social gatherings within the country to contain the coronavirus.

The International Monetary Fund gave Rwanda $109.4 million in emergency coronavirus funding in April.

Rwanda, like other East African nations, will present its final budget in June, 2020.

Peace PIAK

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