Rwanda: Top Developments That Shaped Economy in 2019

In 2019, the Rwandan economic scene was characterised by higher than expected growth, mild inflation for most of the year, as well as increased stability.

Below are some of the top economic trends that shaped the year:

Faced paced economic growth

The economy in 2019 grew beyond the expectations of most including economists. Rwanda’s economy grew 8.4 per cent in the first quarter, 12.2 per cent from April to June and 11.9 per cent in the period between July and September.

This saw the International Monetary Fund revise their earlier projections of economic growth in 2019 to 8.5 per cent from 7.8 per cent citing higher than expected growth.

In 2019, Rwanda revived its cashless ecosystem ambitions through a campaign which seeks to drive the uptake of cashless payment beyond the value of e-payments to Gross Domestic Product of 34.6 per cent.

With the trend, Rwanda is likely to exceed the 8.5 per cent projections going by the performance of previous quarters and outlook of the fourth quarter. The key drivers of growth during the year have been agriculture, service and industry which has consequently increased job creation.

The service sector across the year was buoyed by wholesale and retail trade activities of locally made and imported products, transport service as well as financial services. Hotels and restaurant services also had a good year consequently driving performance of the service sector.

Cashless payment campaign

In October this year, the Central Bank launched a cashless payments campaign that is scheduled to run till March 2020. The campaign which seek to drive the uptake of cashless payment comes at a time when the value of e-payments to Gross Domestic Product stands at 34.6 per cent.

To unlock the potential of the cashless payments in the country, stakeholders are betting on increasing awareness among merchants and businesses on the need of establishing payment avenues.It emerged that there are not enough payment being made electronically despite the high number of transactions. For instance, at least six million mobile transactions valued at Rwf2,058 billion were carried out in the first half of 2019, according to BNR. However, the same figures show, only 4 per cent of the sum was used to pay merchants for either goods or services while a majority were purchases of airtime and cash power.The dominance of cash in the economy is costly in multiple aspects. Rwandan banks spend between Rwf18 billion and Rwf20 billion annually handling […]

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