Rwanda’s economic prospects for 2020 brightest in region – World Bank

Rwanda’s economic prospects for 2020 brightest in region – World Bank

The World Bank Group forecasts that the Sub-Saharan Africa economy will grow by 2.9 per cent in 2020, recovering from 2.4 per cent growth recorded last year.

In its ‘Global Economic Prospects’ report released on Wednesday this week, the institution said regional growth is expected to pick up depending on investor confidence improvement in some large economies, and energy bottlenecks ease.

A pickup in oil production contributes to recovery in oil exporters and robust growth continues among agricultural commodity exporters, the economic outlook indicates.

Among the region’s exporters of agricultural commodities, sustained strong public infrastructure spending, combined with increased private sector activity in Madagascar, Rwanda, and Uganda, is expected to continue to support output, the report’s authors observed.

According to the report, continued reforms to raise the productivity and competitiveness of export-oriented sectors, such as in Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire, will also support output.

Rwanda with brightest prospects

Rwanda is the only Sub-Saharan African country projected to grow above 8 per cent.

Canisius Bihira, an economist based in Kigali, asserts the 8.1 forecasted growth is within an ideal range given the trend at which the domestic economy has been growing at.

The Rwandan economy grew by 8.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 and double-digit growth of 12.2 per cent was recorded in the second quarter (April to June).

In the third quarter, economic growth averaged 12 per cent.

Bihira thinks government extended support towards key sectors like agriculture will determine the extent to which that growth will be realised.

“The government needs to support agriculture particularly crop production and [agricultural] export services for this growth to be realised,” he noted.

Bihira added that support in the form of loans from financial institutions towards agriculture is also important to boost the economy.