The IMF will imminently slash Rwanda’s 2017 economic growth projection from 6.2 to 5.2 per cent.
That will still leave Rwanda performing much better than Uganda or Kenya in 2017.
“We are discussing the revision downward because growth was modest in the first half of the year,” International Monetary Fund mission in Rwanda chief Laura Redifffer said.
Last year, the country registered 5.9 per cent growth.
Among the factors leading to the revision are a prolonged drought in 2016, and a slowdown in construction.
“It was hard to have construction grow like it did last year. This factor as well as external factors affected the growth rate in the first half of the year,” Ms Rediffer said.
The IMF had projected the 6.2 per cent growth based on agricultural recovery and increased exports.
Rwanda’s economy grew by 4 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2017, slower than the 7.5 per cent growth registered last year.
“We expect growth to pick up in the second half of the year, but we still have to get the average of the year as whole,” Ms Rediffer said.
At 5.2 per cent, Rwanda would still be ahead of most economies in sub-Saharan Africa including neighbours Kenya and Uganda, whose growth projections were revised downwards recently.
Kenya’s 5.3 per cent growth estimate, issued in April, was revised to 5 per cent in October on account of a severe drought that affected harvests as well as a politically charged environment.
Uganda’s growth projection was slashed to 4.0 percent after a difficult year that could actually get worse as the political climate tethers on uncertain.