Rwanda records strong economic growth in 2021 (report)

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Farmers prepare to pick tea leaves at a tea garden in Gisakura region, Rwanda, Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

Rwanda recorded strong economic growth in 2021 compared to the previous year, the World Bank said in the 18th Rwanda Economic Update Report released in the Rwandan capital Kigali on Wednesday.

Rwanda’s GDP grew by 11.1% in the first nine months of the year, reflecting a broad recovery from the 2020 recession, according to the report.

Industrial production increased by 16.5%. Favorable weather conditions led to a 6.8% rise in agricultural production and the easing of mobility restrictions contributed to an 11.1% rise in services, with hotel-related services starting to recover in the second quarter, he said.

A farmer picks tea leaves at a tea garden in Gisakura region, Rwanda, Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

A farmer picks tea leaves at a tea garden in Gisakura region, Rwanda, Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

While GDP is close to pre-pandemic levels, the employment-to-population ratio (16+) is 8% lower and the unemployment rate more than 13 percentage points higher than early 2020 levels, according to The report.

According to the report, one of the reasons for the lagging jobs recovery is that faster growth partly reflects the movement of workers to higher productivity jobs, including manufacturing and construction, rather than widespread increases in corporate output.

Employment conditions have deteriorated sharply for women, with the unemployment rate for women now 13.6 percentage points higher and the unemployment rate for men 7.7 percentage points higher than in the first quarter of 2020 , he said.

The report said traditional exports, including coffee and tea, grew by around 35% in the first nine months of 2021 and tourism also improved compared to the same period a year ago. year.

A chimpanzee is seen on a tree in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda, Oct. 20, 2017. Photo: Xinhua

A chimpanzee is seen on a tree in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda, Oct. 20, 2017. Photo: Xinhua

Imports have recovered with faster growth in domestic demand, but at a slower pace than exports, the report said, it added.

The World Bank has predicted that Rwanda’s GDP will moderate over the next two years.

Growth in services is expected to accelerate with a recovery in international tourism, while industrial activity is expected to firm up with government support through the “Manufacturing and Construction for Recovery Programme”, according to the report.

Inflation is expected to rise with rising global demand, commodity prices and domestic economic activity, but remain within the National Bank of Rwanda’s target range.

The report recommended that regional integration offers significant benefits for Rwanda, including greater potential for economies of scale, opportunities to learn to export and produce higher quality goods, and cooperation to improve trade facilitation.

Rwanda’s economic growth fell to 2.3% for the fiscal year 2019-2020 from 8.8% the previous year as the COVID-19 outbreak dealt a severe blow to the country’s economic activities.

Last year, Rwanda expected its economy to grow by 5.1% in 2021.

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