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Rwanda has registered 5.9 percent GDP growth during 2016

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwanda recorded a GDP growth of 5.9 percent in 2016, lower than the 6.9 percent registered in the 2015, according to figures released by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR).

The report released on Wednesday indicated an economic slowdown in the East African country due to unstable global economy.

Addressing a news conference shortly after releasing the GDP statistics, Claver Gatete, Rwanda’s minister of finance and economic planning, said that economy remains strong despite slow growth registered in 2016.

“Our economy remains vulnerable to global economy potential risks, which derails our growth momentum. If we would try to improve the manufacturing sector, we would gain from export earnings hence strong economic performance,” he added.

Gatete said that the sectors that led to the growth of the economy included agriculture that grew by 4 percent, industry by 3 percent and services by 7 percent.

Emerging industries in line with “Made in Rwanda” for example manufacturing, textiles, leather and clothing increased by 10 percent while food processing increased by 8 percent.

The figures indicate that agriculture share of GDP decreased from 33 to 30 percent, while the contribution of the industrial sector to GDP grew to 17 percent from 14 percent the previous year.

According to Yusuf Murangwa, director general of NISR, the construction sector grew by only 5 percent following a very high growth rate of 15 percent in 2015.

“The slowdown is due to the windup of some large construction projects early in 2016,” he said.

Agriculture remains one of the key drivers of the Rwanda’s economy, accounting for a third of the country’s GDP and employing about 80 percent of the total population. It contributes 47 percent of Rwanda’s domestic goods and exports.

The country targets an annual growth rate of 11.5 percent under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II) program.



Rwanda seeks to boost wheat production to cut imports

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwanda, which has become heavily dependent on wheat imports for domestic demand, aims to cut importations of the crop by allocating more land for farming.

The small central African country is targeting to put 95,000 hectares under wheat farming by 2019, in order to boost local production of the crop which has declined over the years.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mark Cyubahiro Bagabe, director general of Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) said that allocating more land for wheat production would dramatically reduce importation of the crop.

“We need farmers to increase wheat production by adopting new varieties which are demanded by factories at home. We are targeting to plant wheat on 95,000 hectares across the country within two years,” he added.

According to the Rwanda ministry of agriculture statistics, wheat is only cultivated on more than 55,000 hectares of wheat across the country.

Early this year, RAB introduced 10 wheat varieties that are expected to boost production due high yield potential and resilience to biotic stresses.

The country spends between 35 million U.S. dollars and 40 million U.S. dollars on wheat grains imports which widen trade deficit gap.

Rwanda currently has a significant trade deficit, to the tune of 15 per cent of the total GDP in recent years.

Agriculture in Rwanda accounts for a third of the country’s GDP, employing about 80 percent of the total population. It contributes 47 percent of Rwanda’s domestic goods and exports.

The country’s second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) defines a large number of programs in the agriculture sector including the intensification of sustainable production systems in crop cultivation and animal husbandry.




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