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Rwanda registers 5.9-pct GDP growth in 2016

Rwanda recorded a GDP growth of 5.9 percent in 2016, lower than the 6.9 percent registered in the 2015, according to figures released by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR).

The report released on Wednesday indicated an economic slowdown in the East African country due to unstable global economy.

Addressing a news conference shortly after releasing the GDP statistics, Claver Gatete, Rwanda’s minister of finance and economic planning, said that economy remains strong despite slow growth registered in 2016.

"Our economy remains vulnerable to global economy potential risks, which derails our growth momentum. If we would try to improve the manufacturing sector, we would gain from export earnings hence strong economic performance," he added.

Gatete said that the sectors that led to the growth of the economy included agriculture that grew by 4 percent, industry by 3 percent and services by 7 percent.

Emerging industries in line with "Made in Rwanda" for example manufacturing, textiles, leather and clothing increased by 10 percent while food processing increased by 8 percent.

The figures indicate that agriculture share of GDP decreased from 33 to 30 percent, while the contribution of the industrial sector to GDP grew to 17 percent from 14 percent the previous year.

According to Yusuf Murangwa, director general of NISR, the construction sector grew by only 5 percent following a very high growth rate of 15 percent in 2015.

"The slowdown is due to the windup of some large construction projects early in 2016," he said.

Agriculture remains one of the key drivers of the Rwanda’s economy, accounting for a third of the country’s GDP and employing about 80 percent of the total population. It contributes 47 percent of Rwanda’s domestic goods and exports.

The country targets an annual growth rate of 11.5 percent under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II) program.


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