|Vice Governor, Governor and Chief Economist|
On February 12th, BNR held its semiannual conference on the topic as of December 31st 2013.
Despite the macro economic challenges Rwanda faced in 2013, Rwanda continued its growth with an estimated 6.5% growth in GDP. That is a tremendous progress in light of the significant challenges many people and institutions suffered last year. Meanwhile, Rwanda's inflation remained well tame at 3.5% in December 2013.
Rwanda's currency devalued a little faster than before mainly because the foreign currency supply was disrupted while the demand remained stable. It devalued approximately 6% against USD, 8% against GBP and 10% against EURO. But Rwanda registered a healthy growth in exports while keeping the imports low, thus improving the import coverage to 25%. Including the informal trade primarily with Burundi and DR Congo, this ratio improves even further.
Due to sluggish economy, BNR loosened up its monetary policy by lowering the key repo rate to 7% from 7.5%, thus easing the money supply. Bank credits increased 15%, a healthy gain, despite the sluggish economy, although bank credits centered around hospitality industry and tourism.
Meanwhile, ATMs, branches, agents continued to increase in 2013, thus expanding the delivery channel.
Rwanda continues the cruising and praise the Lord!
People enjoy attending this conference. Almost everyone who is interested in Rwandan economy and monetary policy attends. This time the attendance was the record high. Even government ministers and parliamentary members attend, in addition to news media and those who are working in the financial services industry.
2014 is expected to see a better performance overall. It is my wish to see the country to continue developing and improving until it shines like a star among developing countries and until it is recognized by the world for what the country has done over a few decades after the tragic genocide. - Jeffrey