Rwanda has lost Rwf 79 billion due to 70 meetings that were suspended as the country fights COVID-19, Prime Minister Dr. Edouard Ngirente told the Rwanda Parliament on Tuesday.
The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Rwanda on March 14, 202o, which makes nearly four months and a half now, and the country made such a huge loss.
Under Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions(MICE), the country attracts several business gatherings, and international summits, investments. to mention but a few.
All meetings around these four months and counting were put on halt and those include the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting (CHOGM) which was scheduled to take place in June.
Also correlated to this was the loss in aviation where Rwf 8 billion have already been counted in the loss.
The loss was occasioned by the reduction of air trips that were planned. The country was planning 27,000 aviation trips, for the 2019-2020 financial year, but only 20,000 of them were achieved.
COVID-19 did not spare the energy sector which made more than Rwf 4 billion loss.
Another important utility, water also experienced the shock with Rwf 900 million profit against an earlier projection of Rwf 2 billion.
The country, said the Prime Minister, has already registered Rwf 86 billion loss worth of taxes in the financial year that ended in June, and another Rwf 55 billion of loss in the current financial year is projected.
The Prime Minister said, that the projection of 8% growth was sabotaged by the pandemic and the country is only awaiting to attain a mere 2% economic growth.
Some services, however, could be already seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
The Prime Minister said that since tourism activities resumed in mid-June, 1176 tourists visited Rwanda out of 3,000 visitors in total.
The COVID-19 recovery fund that was put in place to revamp affected businesses with an initial capital of Rwf 100 billion is already operational and will dedicate to the tourism and hospitality a big share with Rwf 50 billion.
Big enterprises will get Rwf 30 billion of this share, while small and medium enterprise will get Rwf 15 billion of this recovery fund.