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Services sector dominates: Rwanda’s GDP soars by 8.2% in 2023

By IGIHE
On 12 March 2024 at 02:29

Rwanda’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) experienced an impressive 8.2% growth, reaching Rwf 16,355 billion in 2023 up from Rwf13,720 billion in 2022, as announced by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) on March 11.

The services sector played a pivotal role, expanding by 11%, constituting 44% of the total GDP. Notable contributions came from information and communication activities, air transport, as well as hotels and restaurants, which saw improvements of 39%, 29%, and 18%, respectively.

Yusuf Murangwa, NISR Director General, highlighted the significant role of increased calling and internet usage as primary drivers for the growth in information and communication activities.

The industry and agriculture sectors also saw positive growth, with increases of 10% and 2%, contributing 22% and 27% to the GDP, respectively.

Manufacturing recorded notable progress with an 11% increase, driven by advancements in food processing, textiles, clothing, leather goods, chemicals, rubber, plastic products, and wood, paper, and printing.

Agricultural performance was led by a 7% rise in livestock and livestock products. However, export crop production, particularly in tea and coffee, experienced a 4% decline, attributed to adverse climate conditions.

Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana, acknowledged the challenges in the agricultural sector due to adverse climate conditions, emphasizing the government’s commitment to invest more resources to boost tea production, introduce new varieties, and ensure competitive market prices.

Despite exceeding the initial government projection of 6.2%, concerns were raised about the growing depreciation of the Rwandan franc against major foreign currencies.

Minister Ndagijimana linked this trend to Rwanda’s external trade imbalance, exacerbated by last year’s droughts and floods, resulting in reduced food production and increased food imports.

The Rwandan Franc recently depreciated by 0.2% against the US Dollar, closing at Frw 1,285.3 from Frw 1,282.4 the previous week, with a year-to-date depreciation of 1.7%.


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