Home Business & TechEconomy Rwanda’s GDP Growth Figures Are UP And It Matters To Everyone

Rwanda’s GDP Growth Figures Are UP And It Matters To Everyone

by Vincent Gasana
3:48 pm

Production at Ameki Colour factory in Kigali-the industry sector performed fairly

Mention quarterly economic statistics, and many if not most people will shrug, too busy trying to make ends meet, to bother about what they may judge to be the preoccupations of pointy heads in think tanks, and other institutions, too remote to have a direct effect on their lives. On the contrary, say the pointy heads, the acronym GDP, should pique everyone’s interest.

The National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), with the Ministry of Finance, released the latest GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for 2023. The figures show an economy that has emerged strong, from the effects of the Sars-Cov-2 pandemic, and other shocks which so adversely affected global economies.

At current market prices, GDP grew to Rwf 16,355billion (just under $13million) in 2023, up from Rwf 13,720 billion (just under $11million) the previous year. Growth fluctuated, 9.2% in the first quarter, 6.3% in the second, 7.5% in the third, rising to 10% in the fourth, for an average of 8.2%.

Industry and services did the heavy lifting, at ten and eleven percent, respectively. Agriculture increased, but by only 2%.

Yusuf Murangwa, Director General, NISR.

And if your only concern is the prices at your local market and supermarket, as NISR Director-General, Yusuf Murangwa explains, you maybe missing the big picture that directly affects your micro worries.

The impact of GDP for people, is normally in the medium to long term. As we see GDP growing from two years to three years, to five years, we start seeing changes in terms of job creation, more people getting jobs, from the economic activity through GDP, for example if we have new hotels, we expect jobs, we also expect increases in services…the extension in Mutuelle de Sante (health insurance)…these things happen because the GDP is growing…When GDP grows, we get more money in the country, the government gets more taxes, government is able to offer more services”

Then over time we see changes in poverty reduction, the way we live in the whole country changes…the housing people live in improves over time.”

Simba Supermaket. Retail was performing well during the period under review

Where we have a challenge is the short term, but even there, we see for examples that trading, wholesale and retail, increased by 9% this year, compared to the year before. It means that people are buying the things that they need. If they are increasing the things they buy, it shows that their living standards are rising.”

Of course, not everything can be sorted in one year, that’s why it’s important to look at the medium and long term perspective of GDP growth, but all in all, when we look carefully, we see that there is a strong correlation between GDP growth and overall wellbeing in the population…”

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana, elaborated further.

If you go to the source of the growth. Take say, manufacturing that is growing at 11%, what does it mean? There is growth within that sub sector, but there is also an impact on other sectors, where that sector sources raw materials, other services they buy. If it’s agroprocessing, they buy raw materials from farmers, which boosts agriculture…other services, the trading in retail, wholesale, transport, energy, water…there is a big multiplier effect…so the growth and the entire economy are linked…”

Teracing to improve production in Rwanda

It may take a while, but the seemingly dry numbers, will have an effect on your life and well being.

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