Monday, February 25, 2013

Monetary Policy Meeting February 2013...

Rwanda's central bank is Rwanda National Bank or BNR in French. It holds monetary policy statement meeting twice a year. The first one takes place in February. I have been attending all of them for the past four years, including this past one.

Ambassador Claver Gatete is the current governor. He loves to carry the Ambassador title because like marines he claims that once an ambassador you are ambassador for ever. He was Rwanda's ambassador to the U.K. prior to his coming back to Rwanda. While he was in the U.K. Rwanda became a member of the Common Wealth Nations. So there is no longer ambassador but only high commissioner. He loves to use this title perhaps because there is no longer ambassador.

Ambassador Claver Gatete, the Governor
At any rate, he is a highly intellectual governor. Every time he is presenting, he does not lose the control of the flow of his presentation. He is a great communicator.

Not only his style is impressive but also Rwanda's economic growth and overall monetary policy have produced steady GDP growth (mid 7%), FX rates (2-4% devaluation a year) and inflation (mid 5-6%). This performance is exceptional. Moreover, all sectors in the financial services industry are showing positive signs. ePayment system continues to improve. He even mentioned the mVISA, VISA's mobile banking platform and ackowledged that Bank of Kigali and Urwego Opportunity Bank will first join this interoperable mobile banking solutions. Card solutions and branch network also continue to improve.
Governor and Vice Governor

Some people asked cynical questions, such as "So Rwanda has no challenges?" He aptly replied with a list of challenges that the BNR still has to manage, including regional uncertainty, global financial crisis, oil prices that can have significant impact on a small economy like Rwanda. .

Out of eight monetary policy statement meetings that I have attended so far, none has disappointed me so far.

May the stable and steady economic growth continue in Rwanda at least in the foreseeable future. - Jeffrey

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