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Rwanda growth on track

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KIGALI — Rwanda’s economy was on track to meet a 7,7% growth forecast in 2012, lower than the previous year, and plans to issue a Diaspora bond before the end of the year, the country’s central bank governor said.

The landlocked Central African nation said growth this year would ease from the 2011 gross domestic product(GDP) of 8,6%.

The tiny Central African nation has escaped the worst of soaring inflation and weakening currencies that hit its larger neighbours in East Africa last year, such as Uganda and Kenya, because agricultural production kept food prices down and policies such as removing fuel import duties.

Rwanda’s economy maintained its performance in the first half of 2012 and in line with annual real GDP growth projected at 7,7% in 2012 from 8,6% in 2011, the National Bank of Rwanda governor Claver Gatete said in a statement.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Rwanda’s strong economic growth is expected to continue in a range of between 7,5 to 8% in the next two years, driven by the key agriculture sector, as well as industry and services.

Gatete said Rwanda has been planning to issue the bond which it mentioned late last year, and said the bond would bring much needed foreign capital.
The bond will be issued once it receives a green light from the Finance ministry, he told reporters.
“We have been working at the central bank for almost nine months to see how we can come up with a Diaspora bond . . .

We think it will not only increase the resources but also bring in the foreign capital as well,” he told reporters, without giving details on the bond.
“We believe that by the end of the year, if it’s accepted, then it can be rolled out.”

Gatete said the central bank had visited many countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, even India, and consulted many others and was almost ready to issue the bond.

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