The National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) has released figures that show the 2019 gross domestic product (GDP) estimates, calculated using the 2017 benchmark, increased by 9.4%.
Rwanda’s economy was projected to grow by 7.8% in 2019, based on the economy’s robust performance registered in 2018.
According to NISR statement released this Monday the 2019 growth was mainly propelled by Agriculture sector contributing 24%, Industry contributed 18%, Services contributed 49% while the remainder 9% was attributed to net tax on products.
Growth on sector level shows industry had the highest growth of 16%, followed by Services: 8% and Agriculture: 5%.
In industry, growth was mainly boosted by construction and manufacturing which increased by 33% and 11% respectively. Within mining, cassiterite and wolfram decreased by 23.7% and 6.6% in the quantity exported respectively while Coltan increased by 42%.
The services sector, which grew due to an increase of 16% in wholesale and retails trade of locally made and imported products, 12% in transport services boosted mainly by 17% increase in air transport activities, 8% growth in financial services and 10% in hotel and restaurant services, may have a difficult financial year as a result of drop in clients during the covid-19 national lockdown.
While there has been a lockdown on other business, the agriculture sector may remain with hopes of performing better as farming activities remain open in the rural areas.
In 2019, agriculture figures show food crop growth was 4%. Export crops growth was 5% mainly due to growth in coffee and tea that increased by 7% and 3% respectively.
Meanwhile, the National Bank of Rwanda figures show that industry is expected to continue leading the economic growth this year but fears the Coronavirus epidemic will have a negative impact on the general growth 8.4% in 2020.
In order to mitigate this shock, the Central Bank, last week, released Rwf50billion to commercial banks liquidity cash flows to enable more lending, but also instructed restructure of current loans repayments to enable business affected by the Coronavirus to survive through the temporary lockdown on many services such as transport, and closure of crossborder trade.
The level of GDP is now at Rwf9,105 billion.