IMF Staff Completes Review Mission to Rwanda

October 2, 2018

End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF's Executive Board for discussion and decision.

  • The IMF staff team reached preliminary agreement with the government on policies that could support the completion of the tenth and final review of Rwanda’s macroeconomic program supported by the IMF Policy Support Instrument (PSI).
  • The medium-term macroeconomic outlook remains favorable.
  • The current PSI-supported program expires in December, and the intention is to initiate successor program negotiations in early 2019.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team, led by Emre Alper and Laure Redifer, visited Kigali from September 20 to October 2 to conduct discussions on the tenth and final review of Rwanda’s PSI [1] -supported program.

Mr. Alper and Ms. Redifer issued the following statement at the end of the visit:

“The IMF staff team reached preliminary agreement with the government, subject to approval by IMF management and its Executive Board, on policies that could support the completion of the tenth and final review of Rwanda’s PSI supported program. The Executive Board is expected to consider the review in November 2018.

“After rising to 6.1 percent in 2017, real GDP growth averaged 8.6 percent in the first half of 2018, consistent with the projected end-year growth rate of 7.2 percent in 2018. Robust growth in 2018 reflects strong industrial activity, notably construction. Inflation remains low, in part reflecting favorable food price developments, and is projected to average around 2.8 percent in 2018. With inflation expectations remaining close to the medium-term inflation target, the central bank kept the monetary policy stance unchanged in September, maintaining the policy rate at 5.5 percent through 2018.

“The fiscal outturn in FY17/18 remained broadly in line with the revised budget. Higher capital spending was financed through drawdown of deposits of official development assistance, accumulated in previous years. These projects include improvements to rural road access, and vocational training in line with the National Strategy for Transformation. Fiscal restraint on recurrent spending and a robust revenue outturn have helped to contain the deficit.

“The authorities have undertaken policies to improve Rwanda’s competitiveness, diversify production, promote exports, and contain imports. With export growth of 17.9 percent in the year to August 2018, and import growth of 7.4 percent, the trade balance has continued to improve. While export growth is expected to remain robust, the construction of Bugesera airport and a pickup in foreign-financed investment are expected to fuel imports, notably of capital goods, and is expected to lead to a rise in the trade deficit in 2018. Nonetheless, project disbursements and robust foreign direct investment are expected to maintain the balance of payments in surplus and support central bank reserve accumulation.

“The medium-term macroeconomic outlook remains favorable. Real GDP growth is expected to remain strong, supported by continued diversification of the export base, public investment spending to crowd in private sector investment, and more resilient agriculture as a result of extensive irrigation programs. Inflation is expected to remain within the central bank’s target range. The fiscal and external positions continue to be supported by the authorities’ prudent policies including continued exchange rate flexibility.

“Implementation of Rwanda’s PSI-supported macroeconomic program has been strong. All quantitative targets for the tenth and last review were met, and structural benchmarks are expected to be completed. The PSI-supported program has been successful in supporting Rwanda’s overarching objective of sustaining inclusive growth and poverty reduction. Domestic resource mobilization and public financial management reforms have made Rwanda’s fiscal position more sustainable while scaling up social spending. Reforms to the monetary policy framework and in the financial system have helped to contain inflation while deepening financial markets. Other structural reforms and greater exchange rate flexibility have made Rwanda more resilient to external shocks; and have enhanced Rwanda’s competitiveness.

“After 5-years of strong performance, Rwanda’s PSI-supported program expires on December 1, 2018. The intention is to initiate successor program negotiations in early 2019.

“The IMF staff team met with Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana; Minister of Trade and Industry, Vincent Munyeshyaka; Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Gerardine Mukeshimana; Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda, John Rwangombwa; and other senior government officials, private sector and civil society representatives, and development partners. The team thanks all partners for their generous time and candid discussions.”

[1] Rwanda’s PSI-supported program was approved by the IMF Executive Board on December 2, 2013 (see Press Release No.13/483). The PSI is an instrument of the IMF designed for countries that do not need balance of payments financial support. Details of Rwanda’s current PSI are available at

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